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Koreans Expect Another Glorious Days in U-17 World Cup

Posted August. 18, 2007 03:03,   


The youth teams of South and North Korea will challenge for advance to the semifinal qualification in the upcoming U-17 World Cup.

The FIFA U-17 World Cup 2007 kicks off today. 24 countries have sent their teams.

South Korean coach Park Gyeong-hun and North Korean coach Ahn Ye Geun both say on the FIFA homepage they are aiming at advancing to the semifinals.

Team South Korea will take on Peru in Suwon tonight, and North Korea will vie against England at 2 p.m. today in Jeju Province. SBS and its cable channel SBS Drama Plus will air live coverage of both games.

South Korea vs. Peru-

South Korea stands out among Group A teams Peru, Costa Rica, and Togo. FIFA assesses the group on its homepage and says that South Korea, despite its advantage, will not have easy games. South Korea also commands home advantage and the support of avid hometown fans.

The 12th FIFA U-17 World Cup is the third such tourney South Korea has qualified for. The South Korean team has prepared for this championship since 2005. Previously, South Korea advanced to the quarterfinals in Canada in 1987, and failed to advance to the round of 16 in 2003.

The South Korean team will reportedly use a 4-3-3 formation. Bae Cheon-seok, Ju Seong-hwan and Choi Jin-su will wage the attack. Yun Bittga-ram and Cho Beom-seok will lead the midfielders. The defense will be centered around Kim Dong-cheol and Lim Jong-eun.

Peru recorded a 3-3 history with 3 ties in the South American qualification preliminaries. In its first game, it beat Brazil, 2-1, and pulled out a 1-1 draw with Argentina.

But the Achilles’ heel of Peru lies in its defense. It notched 13 scores, and allowed 16. Once it lost control, it lost it for good. Peru lost, for example, 1-3 to Chile, 0-3 to Columbia and 1-4 to Brazil.

It is the second time Peru has qualified for the U-17 World Cup. Its debut was in 2005, when it automatically qualified for being the host country. South Korea will have to control Reimond Manc, the Argentinean star player who won the MVP award in qualification matches, to win the match.

North Korea vs. England-

Experts predict today’s match between North Korea and England will be one of the toughest in Group B, which Brazil will expectedly dominate. The two teams are battling for the second spot in the group. Objectively, England is well ahead of N. Korea. FIFA, however, warns that the high morale of the N. Korean team is not something to be brushed off. N. Korean coach Ahn expressed his confidence, saying, “I bet our team will beat England. We are proud of our opportunity to represent our country.”

North Korean soccer boasts of organized power. Among other players, Ahn Il Bom, Lee Myong Jun, and Lee Sang Chol stand out. Its midfielders play with power, pressing opponents all across the pitch. Armed with a few advantages, North Korea advanced to the quarterfinals in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2005. In a 1-3 loss to Brazil, experts were pleasantly shocked at the stamina and powerful play of North Korea.

The English team won 14 matches last year, losing only 3. Their coach, John Peacock, is known as a master who can boost teamwork and team spirit. Victor Moses stands out among the players. Moses scored the most goals in the European championships last year.