South Korea must channel the same indomitable spirit as class of 2002 against Brazil

1 month ago 15

DOHA, Qatar -- Till this day, the champion effect by an Asian squad astatine the FIFA World Cup stay South Korea's fourth-place decorativeness successful 2002.

In the 2 decades since, nary of the continent's contenders person managed to marque it past the archetypal knockout signifier adjacent -- from 18 attempts anterior to this year's tournament.

Having qualified for the circular of 16 this clip astir successful Qatar, determination is simply a accidental the Taegeuk Warriors could emulate the feat.

It is simply a slim accidental though, astatine slightest connected paper, fixed the squad they are coming up against successful the past 16 are nary different than grounds five-time champions Brazil.

If that was not already a pugnacious capable task, Brazil are besides acceptable to regain prima antheral Neymar aft helium sat retired their past 2 games successful Group G done injury.

While the likelihood are firmly stacked against them, it does mean that they tin attack the necktie without excessively overmuch unit and the information that it is simply a one-off necktie successful a knockout tourney gives South Korea manager Paulo Bento crushed to beryllium hopeful.

"We're up against world-class players (but) we're not intimidated. In our squad, we person world-class players," Bento said connected Sunday successful his pre-match quality conference.

"One lucifer -- it's not an full tournament. We person 1 chance. Most important is we amusement we are a squad that wants to win, vie and combat until the past whistle.

"Based connected that, everything is simply a victory."

And if South Korea bash combat arsenic a squad and amusement nary fearfulness for Brazil, determination is simply a anticipation they could propulsion disconnected what would arguably beryllium their biggest upset ever.

That person been precedents. One arsenic precocious arsenic Friday erstwhile they came from down to beat Portugal 2-1 with a melodramatic 91st-minute victor from Hwang Hee-chan to seal their advancement into the knockout round.

Then, of course, should they request further inspiration, it is intolerable not to look backmost astatine the famed people of 2002, who boasted players who each went connected to execute legendary presumption successful South Korean shot specified arsenic Park Ji-sung, Ahn Jung-hwan, Cha Du-ri and Lee Young-pyo.

Having already claimed a celebrated triumph -- coincidentally against Portugal again -- connected the last time of the radical signifier to advance, that South Korea outfit would spell connected to destruct heavyweights Italy with a aureate extremity victor from Ahn, and past proceeded to trounce chap European powerhouses Spain connected penalties pursuing a 0-0 draw.

A constrictive 1-0 decision to Germany successful the semifinals yet denied South Korea the accidental to instrumentality connected Brazil successful the final, arsenic they yet had to settee for 4th spot pursuing a playoff nonaccomplishment to Turkey.

On Monday night, they get the accidental to bash truthful albeit somewhat earlier successful the tourney but with plentifulness inactive connected the line.

South Korea's 2014 World Cup skipper Koo Ja-cheol, portion speaking to ESPN earlier the commencement of the tournament, did promote the squad to play without the load of having to live up to the people of 2002 -- and helium surely had a valid point.

But channeling the never-say-die tone of their predecessors is antithetic -- beneficial.

If the Taegeuk Warriors are to assertion a triumph that volition nonstop shockwaves done the footballing world, they volition request plentifulness of that against Brazil.

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