Will Korea Advance in This Year’s World Cup?
kpopluv, March 5, 2014, 2:22 p.m.
Korea is currently the lowest-ranked team in regards to the World Cup group of countries. Many are curious whether Korea will even advance to the knockout rounds of the competition. Currently, FIFA ranks Korea No. 61, coming in far behind rivals Belgium (11), Russia (No. 22) and Algeria (No. 26). Much foreign media tend to ignore Korea’s acknowledgment in the game, since they view them as a relatively poor prospect.
United States sport network ESPN projected Korea’s percent of escaping the group stage roughs in around 36.7%. Belgium’s on the other hand comes in at 79.2%, with Russia at 73%, and Algeria at 11%.
Although ESPN views Belgium as the strongest of the group, they stated that Korea should not be underestimated due to their powerful line up of players including Kim Bo-kyung, Ki Sung-yueng and Son Heung-min.
FIFA stated on their official website, "Group H looks on paper to be one of the most evenly weighted sections, though European duo Belgium and Russia will kick off as slight favorites against Algeria and [Korea]."
They added that it's very difficult to forecast which team will advance to the next round, as Korea & Algeria both have extensive World Cup experience.
Han Jun-hee of KBS sports stated, "[Korean players] should strengthen their defensive skills and work on goal-scoring tactics in the upcoming months."
Professor of Sejong University Lee Yong-soo mentioned that if Korea wins its first match against Russia, as well as Belgium defeating, Korea will be better positioned to access he round of 16.