Profile on South Korea team for 2015 Asian Cup

  • Football
  • Thursday, 01 Jan 2015

(Reuters) - Factbox on Asian Cup qualifiers South Korea.

Asian Cup record:

Previous appearances in finals: (12) 1956, 1960, 1964, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011.

Best performance: Winners 1956, 1960

Drawn in Group A with Australia, Oman and Kuwait.

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Coach: Uli Stielike

The former German international took over as coach of South Korea in September after stints with club sides in Qatar and Switzerland, and a two-year assignment with Ivory Coast.

He has presided over two wins and two defeats so far but the Koreans look a much more confident and organised side under the German and will travel to Australia determined to put their woeful World Cup behind them.

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Key player: Son Heung-min. Age: 22. Forward.

The jewel in South Korea's crown, Son seems set to surpass Park Ji-sung as the country's most successful football export.

After dropping out of high school to join SV Hamburg's youth academy, the forward has emerged as one of the Bundesliga's brightest young stars, earning a big-money transfer to Bayer Leverkusen where he has continued to bang in the goals.

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FIFA world ranking Dec. 2014: 69

How they qualified: Automatic berth after finishing third at the 2011 tournament


Goalkeepers - Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo Osaka), Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan), Jung Sung-ryong (Suwon)

Defenders - Kim Jin-su (Hoffenheim), Park Joo-ho (Mainz 05), Jang Hyun-soo (Guangzhou R&F), Kim Young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Kim Ju-young (FC Seoul), Kwak Tae-hwi (Al Hilal), Kim Chang-soo (Kashiwa Reysol), Cha Du-ri (FC Seoul)

Midfielders - Lee Myung-joo (Al Ain), Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea), Han Kook-young (Qatar SC), Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen), Kim Min-woo (Sagan Tosu), Koo Ja-cheol (Mainz 05), Nam Tae-hee (Lekhwiya SC), Han Kyo-won (Jeonbuk), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton)

Forwards - Cho Young-cheol (Qatar SC), Lee Keun-ho (El Jaish SC), Lee Jung-hyub (Sangju)

(Compiled by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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