Go to contents

S. Korea, Sweden to meet in a World Cup for the first time on Monday

S. Korea, Sweden to meet in a World Cup for the first time on Monday

Posted June. 18, 2018 07:44,   

Updated June. 18, 2018 07:44


“We need to be fully prepared for the match with Sweden,” Korea’s offender Son Heung-min said to his teammates a day before the match. The Korean national football team led by head coach Shin Tae-yong will have a Group F World Cup match against “North Europe’s dark horse” Sweden at 9:00 p.m. Monday (Korea time) at Russia's Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. Korea must win in this match to make it through the group stage.

Korea that ranks 57th in FIFA is in the same group with Sweden (24th), Germany (1st) and Mexico (15th). If Korea defeats Sweden by scoring three goals, it can start its journey to the final. But if it loses or draws, the chance gets a lot slimmer. “We are doing our best to win this match,” said Shin in a resolute manner.

Sweden pushed off the Netherlands to the third in the group at the World Cup preliminaries in Europe, and joined the final group with the score of one win and one draw with Italy at the playoff. Just like other North European teams, it boasts excellent power. Korea recorded two draws and two losses in the A matches. It recorded a draw in the most recent match in 2005.

Korea showed its strength in the first match from the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup to the 2014 Brazil World Cup. It defeated Poland by 2-0 in 2002, and it dramatically won Togo by 2-1 in the 2006 World Cup. In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, it won Greece by 2-0 and made into the round of 16 for the first time in a game played outside of Korea. It drew with Russia with the score of 1-1 in the 2014 World Cup.

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com