South Korea's journey to World Cup holds much promise

12:58, May 14, 2010      

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With the 2010 World Cup in South Africa less than a month away, South Korea is bracing for another challenge at the soccer's grandest stage.

After sailing through the Asian qualifying rounds, South Korea has become the first Asian country to make the World Cup seven times in a row and one of only six countries in the world to qualify for the World Cup more than seven times.


After hiring Huh Jung-moo, the first Korean-born national team coach in seven years, in 2007, the South Korean squad has shown unforeseen prowess on the field that resulted in an undefeated record in the Asian qualifying rounds.

Despite losing its first game under Huh in a friendly against Chile, the Taegeuk Warriors followed up the loss by beating Turkmenistan 4-0 in the Asian preliminary rounds, en route to completing the regional preliminary stage with three wins and three draws to qualify for the final Asian qualification rounds.

However, local media and fans voiced grave concerns at the time as the two draws came against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and one tie was versus Jordan at South Korea's own home turf.

The Taegeuk Warriors continued to cause much anxiety amongst its fans as it drew yet another tie with the DPRK in the first match of the final Asian qualifying round.

At the time, South Korea was faced with a schedule where it had to face countries considered to be better-prepared than the DPRK, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, and local media questioned the country's prospects of making the World Cup as it continued to underperform.

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