SEOUL: New South Korea coach Jo Bonfrere named his 22-man Asian Cup squad yesterday, hoping to cure a chronic lack of firepower by recalling the top scorer in the tournament four years ago.
Bonfrere, a surprise choice to replace Humberto Coelho, has had only three weeks and two warm-up games to stamp his mark on the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists.
The former Nigeria coach has already tried a few attacking combinations, with Japan-based Ahn Jung-hwan, Seol Ki-hyeon of Anderlecht, German-based Cha Du-ri and Lee Dong-gook all featuring.
Dong-gook was top scorer with six goals in the last Asian Cup in Lebanon but was overlooked by coach Guus Hiddink for the 2002 World Cup due to a dip in form and knee injuries.
The 25-year-old plays for the K-League’s military side, Kwangju Sangmu Phoenix.
In defence, Bonfrere relies on the experience of Kim Tae-young, who recently won his 100th cap, while South Korea also have one of Asia’s top goalkeepers in the experienced Lee Woon-jae.
But the Dutchman’s job has not been made any easier by the Korea Football Association’s (KFA) apparent shift in priorities in favour of next month’s Olympics.
Captain Yoo Sang-chul and Song Chong-gug are unavailable after being selected as over-age players for Athens.
South Korea will leave for China today and face Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan in Group B of the Asian Cup, which begins tomorrow.
Goalkeepers: Lee Woon-jae (Suwon Samsung), Kim Yong-dae (Pusan I.Cons) Cha Ki-seok (Seoul Physical High School).
Defenders: Choi Jin-cheul (Chonbuk Hyundai), Park Jae-hong (Chonbuk Hyundai), Kim Tae-young (Chunnam Dragons), Kim Jin-kyu (Chunnam Dragons), Lee Min-sung (Pohang Steelers), Park Yo-seb (Seoul FC).
Midfielders: Lee Eul-yong (FC Seoul), Lee Young-pyo (PSV Eindhoven), Park Ji-sung (PSV Eindhoven), Park Jin-sub (Ulsan Hyundai), Hyun Young-min (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Nam-il (Chunnam Dragons), Kim Jung-kyum (Chunnam Dragons).
Forwards: Ahn Jung-hwan (Yokohama F. Marinos), Seol Ki-hyeon (Anderlecht), Cha Du-ri (Frankfurt), Kim Eun-jung (FC Seoul), Lee Dong-gook (Kwangju Sangmu), Chung Kyung-ho (Ulsan Hyundai). – Reuters
We're sorry, this article is unavailable at the moment. If you wish to read this article, kindly contact our Customer Service team at 1-300-88-7827. Thank you for your patience - we're bringing you a new and improved experience soon!