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All about South Korea ahead of Asian Cup final

Factbox on Asian Cup finalists South Korea

Reuters , Thursday 29 Jan 2015
South Korea
South Korea's Kim Young-gwon (2nd R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Iraq during their Asian Cup semi-final soccer match at the Stadium Australia in Sydney January 26, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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Nickname: Taegeuk Warriors

Asian Cup record:

Previous appearances in finals: (12) 1956, 1960, 1964, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011

Best performance: Winners 1956, 1960

FIFA world ranking: 69

How they qualified: Automatic berth after finishing third at the 2011 tournament

 

Path to the final:

Group matches

Beat Oman 1-0 in Canberra (Cho Young-cheol)

Beat Kuwait 1-0 in Canberra (Nam Tae-hee)

Beat Australia 1-0 in Brisbane (Lee Jung-hyeop)

Quarter-finals

Beat Uzbekistan 2-0 aet in Melbourne (Son Heung-min 2)

Semi-finals

Beat Iraq 2-0 in Sydney (Lee Jung-hyeop, Kim Young-gwon)

 

Coach: Uli Stielike

The former German international took over as coach of South Korea in September after stints with club sides in Qatar and Switzerland, and a two-year assignment with Ivory Coast.

Before the Asian cup, he had presided over two wins and two defeats but the Koreans now look a much more confident and organised side under the German.

In five matches in the tournament under Stielike, South Korea have yet give up a single goal.

Key player: Son Heung-min. Age: 22. Forward.

The jewel in South Korea's crown, Son seems set to surpass Park Ji-sung as the country's most successful soccer export.

After dropping out of high school to join SV Hamburg's youth academy, the forward has emerged as one of the Bundesliga's brightest young stars, earning a big-money transfer to Bayer Leverkusen where he has continued to bang in the goals.

Has scored two goals in the Asian Cup - both in extra time against Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals.

 

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo Osaka), Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan), Jung Sung-ryong (Suwon)

Defenders: Kim Jin-su (Hoffenheim), Park Joo-ho (Mainz 05), Jang Hyun-soo (Guangzhou R&F), Kim Young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Kim Ju-young (FC Seoul), Kwak Tae-hwi (Al Hilal), Kim Chang-soo (Kashiwa Reysol), Cha Du-ri (FC Seoul)

Midfielders: Lee Myung-joo (Al Ain), Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea), Han Kook-young (Qatar SC), Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen), Kim Min-woo (Sagan Tosu), Koo Ja-cheol (Mainz 05), Nam Tae-hee (Lekhwiya SC), Han Kyo-won (Jeonbuk), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton)

Forwards: Cho Young-cheol (Qatar SC), Lee Keun-ho (El Jaish SC), Lee Jung-hyeop (Sangju)

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