Posted June. 08, 2009 08:38,
Korea is the first country in Asia and the sixth in the world to qualify for its seventh straight World Cup soccer finals.
The Taegeuk Warriors in Dubai Saturday beat the United Arab Emirates, 2-0, in a Group B final round qualifier for next year`s World Cup in South Africa thanks to first-half goals by Park Chu-Young (ninth minute) and Ki Sung-Yueng (38th minute).
Korea has qualified with two qualifiers remaining, both at home, with four wins and two ties for 14 points. The country has made every World Cup since the 1986 event in Mexico and eight overall since making its first appearance in 1954, when Switzerland was the host.
I`m very happy and feel very responsible for our qualification in the World Cup finals, said head coach Huh Jung-moo. The final qualifying round is not easy, but the team will be fully prepared to advance to the Round of 16.
Team captain Park Ji-sung said, Qualifying for our seventh straight World Cup shows how strong the Korean team is. There is a good balance between the old and young, and their communication is very good. I`m simply glad to carry on the tradition of the national team.
Returning to Korea yesterday, the national squad headed for the National Football Center in the northern Seoul suburb of Paju to prepare for its last two qualifiers -- one against Saudi Arabia Wednesday and the other against Iran June 17.