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S. Korea`s Path to WC Semifinals Not So Tough

Posted June. 25, 2010 13:15,   


Soccer fans in South Korea are excited over the possibility that their national team will repeat the miracle of 2002 by reaching the World Cup semifinals for the first time on foreign soil.

Whether the Taegeuk Warriors can do so remains to be seen, but their schedule in the knockout round is considered favorable.

The Group B runner-up will face Group A winner Uruguay Saturday. Group A had 1998 World Cup champion France and Mexico, but Uruguay surprised by claiming the group.

South Korean players unanimously consider Uruguay a less difficult opponent than Mexico.

The winner of the South Korea-Uruguay game will face the victor of the U.S.-Ghana match in the quarterfinals, avoiding more powerful teams such as England and Germany. The Taegeuk Warriors say they can beat the U.S. or Ghana.

In the 2002 World Cup, South Korea beat more powerful teams in Italy in its first knockout game and in Spain in the quarterfinals.

Unfortunately for those in South Korea who plan to cheer for the team outside Saturday evening, rain is expected over the weekend. A monsoon front hovering south of Jeju Island will head north, with rainfall between 10 and 40 millimeters forecast in Seoul Saturday.

kjs0123@donga.com nex@donga.com