Korea Qualifies for World Cup Despite Scoreless Draw Against Uzbekistan
Danny Kim, Sept. 6, 2017, 9:37 a.m.
Korea managed to advance to the World Cup for the ninth consecutive time with a bit of luck.
In the final leg of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Korea faced Uzbekistan in Tashkent on Tuesday and the match ended in a scoreless draw. Korea allowed Uzbekistan multiple scoring chances but managed to keep them scoreless.
Grouped with China, Iran, Qatar, Syria and Uzbekistan, Korea's fate was only determined by the result of another match between Iran and Syria, with a Syrian victory knocking it out of the running. However, a 2-2 draw between Syria and Iran opened a path for Korea to advance to the next stage.
With this luck, Korea became the sixth country in the world to make it to nine consecutive World Cups, after Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Spain.
In the final round of Asian qualifiers, Korea was winless in all five away matches with two draws and three losses. "There were many ups and downs during this round, including the change-up in management," said an official at the Korea Football Association. "However, we were able to continue our streak of qualifying for the World Cup."
"The players fought hard as they felt the strong support from fans," manager Shin Tae-yong said in a post-match interview.
The group draw for the World Cup will take place on Dec. 1, and the World Cup will kick off in June next year.