South Korea star Son Heung-min

FIFA World Cup preview: South Korea

This may be the ninth consecutive World Cup for South Korea, but the champagne will remain firmly on ice for their supporters.

It was basically sheer luck that got The Reds into Russia, after securing entry in a weak pool in Asia. South Korea finished with four wins, three draws and three losses which wouldn't have even nabbed them third place in Pool B.

If that lit a fire underneath them, it is not showing. The South Koreans have lost matches to Northern Ireland (2-1) and Poland (3-2) in their friendly matches to prepare for the World Cup.

South Korean may have finished fourth at the 2002 World Cup, but that achievement seems light years away from what this side is capable of.

The draw for South Korea

June 18 v Sweden

June 24 v Mexico

June 28 v Germany

The star players

Son Heung-min stands heads and shoulders above the rest of the squad in terms of talent for South Korea.

The Tottenham Hotspur star can play up front or on the wing and is a prolific goal-scorer and genuine match-winner.

The last time South Korea contested a World Cup they finished bottom of their pool without a single win. To better than, they will need to lean heavily on Heung-min and hope the defenders can do a better job than what they have been doing lately.

What needs to go their way

Does South Korea believe in miracles? The might of Germany is going to be nigh on impossible to stop.

Mexico stands as the big match for South Korea in this pool, as very little separates these two nations historically. Mexico has won seven, South Korea six and there has been one draw between them.

Of course, South Korea isn't in the sort of form that netted those wins and will need to lift massively.

Sweden is the lowest ranked opposition South Korea will face in this pool, but the Swedes also hold the biggest winning margin of all time over South Korea, thumping them 12-0 back in 1948. A dramatic turnaround will be required for South Korea to get a win over any of these sides.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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