South Korea have been drawn into a very difficult World Cup group, and even though they have great attacking talent Koreans still aren’t expecting their national team to get out of the group. If Shin Tae-yong’s men somehow get to the last 16 then it has to be looked on as a massive achievement.
Even not finishing bottom of the group would be as some level of success by many considering the level of the opposition. South Korea have been drawn into World Cup group F along with World Champions Germany, Sweden who are conquerors of Italy, and Mexico who along with their central Americans made sure America missed on their first World Cup for donkeys.
Anyone reading Korea’s World Cup opponents will automatically see the uphill struggle they will have, here we look at South Korea’s oppositions build up:
Germany, as expected, have played some top quality opposition in their build-up to the World Cup, since qualifying they have played friendlies against Spain, Brazil and Austria. They drew 1-1 with Spain and suffered a 1-0 defeat against Brazil, then surprisingly they lost against Austria 2-1.
They have one more friendly lined up against Saudi Arabia, who are not normally the quality of opponents Germany would often play a friendly against but it is likely that they wanted to face one Asian team in a friendly before the finals commence. Germany vs Korea will be played on 9th June and this will be Germany’s last warm-up match before their competition opener against Mexico.
Germany hasn’t won many of their warm-up games but there is no doubt they will be one of the favourites to be in the final, and they are most like dead certainties to get out of this group in first spot. Anything other than that would be considered a huge failure for Germany considering their recent success.
Mexico has played a whole host of friendly matches since becoming the first team from the North and Central American qualifying region to confirm their place in the finals. By now the whole world knows about that not getting past that elusive fourth World Cup match. They will be expected by most of the world’s football experts to be a shoe-in for the second spot in this group.
Even though most ‘pundits’ or self-proclaimed footy experts will be predicting that Mexico will finish behind Germany in this group, South Korea and Sweden will fancy their chances; here we look at Mexico’s build-up to the World Cup.
They have so far played a total of six friendlies against, Bosnia, Iceland, Croatia, Wales and Scotland, and have one final game against Denmark scheduled to be played on 10th June. Mexico’s results have been a mixed bag. They beat Bosnia, Iceland and Scotland, drew with Wales, and lost to Croatia, this could point to Mexico being an inconsistent side at the finals.
No one expected Sweden to even be at the World cup when they drew Italy in the World Cup Playoff. Italy has never missed a World Cup and according to the football world, there was no way Sweden would knock Italy out with every pundit under the sun predicting that Italy would make light work of the Swedes.
Well, surprise world – Sweden did manage to knock Italy out and their reward for that was getting dumped into an extremely difficult group along with the current World Champions. Go figure eh? The football world is angry that the Swedes made the sexy Italians stay at home and miss their first ever World Cup. So now Sweden have to perform just as they did to dump Italy out to stand any chance of getting out of the group. Here we look at their build-up to the finals.
They have only played three friendlies so far which is to be expected as they did have the playoff game to navigate. They have so far played games against Chile, Romania and Denmark and have failed to win any of these games. They lost to Chile 2-1, Romania 1-0 and played out a 0-0 bore draw with their neighbours the Danes. They have one last friendly lined up against Peru on the 10th June.
For South Korea to get out of this group their attacking players would have to click together instantly and play an absolute blinder in every game. With the excellent Son Heung-min, exciting Lee-Jae-sung, the in-form Hwang Hee-chan and the giant Kim Shin-Wook they definitely have the attacking options to hurt teams. It all hinges on if their defence and midfield can perform as well as their attacking players are capable of, and then they might cause a surprise by sending home Mexico and Sweden home. Korea isn’t expecting much so if that does happen they’ll return home as heroes.