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Last World Cup: Round of 16
Nickname: Taegeuk Warriors
Coach: Hong Myung-bo
Star man: Son Heung-min
Tournament best: Fourth 2002

Koreans hope that 2002 captain Hong can inspire the current crop, but an appearance in the last 16 might be the best they can achieve.

Strengths: Along with Algeria, who they'll be sharing a group with, South Korea have relied the most on long balls to create goals during qualifying, with one in five of their goals arriving via ‘route one'. They created more of their goals from the left wing than any side except Croatia, with whom they also shared a proficiency for scoring at close range.

Weaknesses: It's not been a good year for the South Koreans who currently find themselves the second lowest ranked team in the tournament. The 64% of the goals they conceded from the flanks is among the highest, while no finalist conceded a higher proportion of their goals in the opening quarter hour of matches and only Iran leaked a larger share from set pieces.

Prospects: The number of late goals they scored provides hope against Belgium and Russia who both conceded a disproportionate share of goals in the closing stages. However Belgium and Algeria look capable of punishing them from set pieces while Russia's knack of scoring early could well stun them in their opening match.

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