Red devils take to the streets

14:48, June 24, 2010      

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Soccer fever peaked across South Korea as more than 400,000 fans filled bars and squares early Wednesday to cheer their team's advance to the last 16 in a make-or-break match against Nigeria.

The 2-2 draw between the "Taeguk Warriors" and the "Super Eagles" helped Korea open a new chapter in the country's soccer history after securing a place in the round of 16 for the first time on foreign turf at a World Cup, fueling hopes that the team might make it to the semifinals, which they reached in 2002 when South Korea co-hosted the event with Japan.

An estimated 430,000 supporters, better known as "Red Devils" for their red outfits, gathered at major cheering venues before dawn, including more than 60,000 at Seoul Plaza, according to police.

Nearly 2 million supporters stayed up outside during their match against Diego Mara-dona's Argentina.

At Seoul Plaza, South Korean fans never stopped their famous chant "Dae Han Min Kook Pilsung" (The Republic of Korea is certain to win), vigorously waving flags, beating drums or blowing horns at the square.

"I am proud of my team and I expect they could make another achievement," said 24-year-old Kwon Gil-won, wearing a red T-shirt with the phrase "Korea Fighting."

"My national team fought to the last 16 because they have the 12th player, us fans," Kwon said, adding, "watching the game outside will be more fun as I can join a great number of fans from home and abroad."


Special Report: World Cup 2010


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