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Korea and Japan Receive Top Seeds and 50-50 Chance for South Korea to Play North Korea

Korea and Japan Receive Top Seeds and 50-50 Chance for South Korea to Play North Korea

Posted November. 23, 2004 23:22,   


South Korea may play against North Korea in the final round of 2006 World Cup Germany.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on November 23 that Korea and Japan received the top seeds, based on the results of preliminary matches and the final round of the 2002 World Cup. Saudi Arabia and Iran received the second seeds. Bahrain and Uzbekistan received the third seeds, and North Korea and Kuwait the fourth.

On December 9, the AFC will put the eight countries into two groups after drawing lots in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The teams will be playing league tournaments on February 9t, March 26, June 4, June 11, and August 17 made up of both home and away games.

By receiving a top seeding, South Korea avoided playing against rival Japan. However, it’s a 50-50 chance that South Korea will be grouped into the same group with North Korea. It has been 12 years since North and South Korea have played against each other since the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup in the U.S..

The Korean national soccer team will play a friendly match against the German national soccer team in Busan on December 19. The team also plans to hold training camp for about 20 days in Los Angeles starting next January 7.

The visiting German national soccer team includes “Spider Web” Oliver Kahn (FC Bayern München), midfielder Michael Ballack (FC Bayern München), “bomber” Miroslav Klose (FC Kaiserslautern). It is a rematch of Korea’s loss to Germany in the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup two and a half years ago.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com