The Taeguk Warriors are Asia’s most successful team, having qualified for the FIFA World Cup seven times (including 2010). Qualification for this year’s competition was touch and go, with Korea DPR proving the team’s biggest rival in the group. Wins over the UAE and Saudi Arabia, however, saw them eventually pull through. In 2002, Korea Republic actually made the last four, beating such seasoned teams as Italy, Spain and Portugal. In 2006, however, they made an early exit. The toughest game for them here will probably be Argentina.
A former Korean Republic midfielder, Huh Jung-Moo has taken a while to find his footing. He is no stranger to the World Cup, though, having played in Mexico in 1986, and appeared as trainer and assistant coach in 1990 and 1994.
Player to watch
The Manchester United wing has made himself an important player, creating space and opportunities for his teammates. He has World Cup experience, having played in the last two tournaments, and he scored five goals during qualifying. He looks set to be an inspiration in his role as captain.
We’re on the ball
World Cup appearances: 6
Previous best: Fourth place, 2002
Odds of winning: 250/1
Strange but true: Korea Republic’s 2-0 defeat of Saudi Arabia during qualifying stages was their first win against the country in 19 years
Fixtures: Greece, June 12, 3.30pm, Port Elizabeth Argentina, June 17, 3.30pm, Johannesburg Nigeria, June 22, 10.30pm, Durban