Preview - Group F: Korea Republic seek more magic
Moscow: Korea Republic's magical run to the semi-finals of the 2002 edition remains Asia's best achievement at the FIFA World Cup and the current generation of the Taeguk Warriors will be aiming for a spectacular performance of their own in Russia 2018.
It will be Korea Republic's ninth consecutive appearance in the FIFA World Cup, and 10th overall, with Shin Tae-yong's side facing a steep challenge with the likes of defending champions Germany, Sweden and Mexico to contend with.
The two-time AFC Asian Cup champions, however, are confident they will be able to match their opponents and seal a place in the Knockout Stage.
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Honours: Asian Cup winners 1956, 1960
FIFA World Cup history: 10th participation
FIFA World Cup best: Fourth in 2002
FIFA ranking: 57
Nickname: Taeguk Warriors
How they qualified: Second behind IR Iran in Asian Group A
Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-Gyu (Vissel Kobe, Japan), Kim Jin-Hyeon (Cerezo Osaka/JPN), Cho Hyun-Woo (Daegu FC).
Defenders: Kim Young-Gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande/CHN), Jang Hyun-Soo (FC Tokyo/JPN), Jung Seung-Hyun (Sagan Tosu/JPN), Yun Yong-Sun (Seongnam FC), Oh Ban-Suk (Jeju United), Kim Min-Woo (Sangju Sangmu), Park Joo-Ho (Ulsan Hyundai), Hong Chul (Sangju Sangmu), Go Yo-Han (FC Seoul), Lee Yong (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors).
Midfielders: Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea City/WAL), Jung Woo-Young (Vissel Kobe/JPN), Ju Se-Jong (Asan Mugunghwa FC), Koo Ja-Cheol (FC Augsburg/GER), Lee Jae-Sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Lee Seung-Woo (Hellas Verona/ITA), Moon Seon-Min (Incheon United).
Forwards: Kim Shin-Wook (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Hwang Hee-Chan (FC Red Bull Salzburg/AUT).
Head Coach: Shin Tae-yong (KOR).
Honours: World Cup winners 1954, 1974, 1990, 2014. European champions 1972, 1980, 1996. Confederations Cup winners 2017
FIFA World Cup history: 19th participation
FIFA World Cup best: winners in 1954, 1974, 1990, 2014
FIFA ranking: 1
Nickname: Die Mannschaft
How they qualified: Won European qualifying group C with a perfect record of 10 victories.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona/ESP), Kevin Trapp (PSG/FRA).
Defenders: Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea/ENG), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich).
Midfielders: Sami Khedira (Juventus/ITA), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/ESP), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/ENG), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City/ENG), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund).
Forwards: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart).
Head Coach: Joachim Low (GER)
Honours: Olympic Gold 2012; Confederations Cup winners 1999; 10-time winners of the CONCACAF Championship/Gold Cup
FIFA World Cup history: Sixteenth appearance
FIFA World Cup best: Quarter-finalists in 1970 and 1986
FIFA ranking: 15
Nickname: El Tri
How they qualified: finished first in CONCACAF qualifying
Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard Liege/BEL), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul).
Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Einracht Frankfurt/GER), Diego Reyes (Porto/POR), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad/ESP), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (America), Miguel Layun (Sevilla/ESP), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas).
Midfielders: Rafael Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto/POR), Jonathan dos Santos (Los Angeles Galaxy/USA), Marco Fabian (Frankfurt/GER), Giovani dos Santos (Los Angeles Galaxy/USA).
Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham/ENG), Oribe Peralta (America), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Galaxy/USA), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV/NED).
Head Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio (COL)
Honours: Olympic Gold 1948
FIFA World Cup history: 12th participation
FIFA World Cup best: Runners-up in 1958
FIFA ranking: 24
Nickname: The Blue and Yellows (Blågult)
How they qualified: Finished second in UEFA qualifying Group A behind France, then beat Italy in play-offs (1-0)
Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen (FC Copenhagen/DEN), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea City/ENG), Karl-Johan Johnsson (Guingamp/FRA).
Defenders: Andreas Granqvist (Krasnodar/RUS), Victor Lindelof (Manchester United/ENG), Mikael Lustig (Celtic/SCO), Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen/GER), Pontus Jansson (Leeds/ENG), Emil Krafth (Bologna/ITA), Filip Helander (Bologna/ITA), Martin Olsson (Swansea City/ENG).
Midfielders: Sebastian Larsson (Hull City/ENG), Gustav Svensson (Seattle Sounders/USA), Albin Ekdal (Hamburg/GER), Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig/GER), Viktor Claesson (Krasnodar/RUS), Jimmy Durmaz (Toulouse/FRA), Marcus Rohden (Crotone/ITA), Oscar Hiljemark (Genoa/ITA).
Forwards: Marcus Berg (Al Ain/UAE), John Guidetti (Alaves /ESP) Isaac Kiese-Thelin (Waasland Beveren/BEL), Ola Toivonen (Toulouse/FRA).
Head Coach: Janne Andersson (SWE)
Fixtures (Local Time)
Germany vs Mexico (18:00)
Sweden vs Korea Republic (15:00)
Korea Republic vs Mexico (18:00)
Germany vs Sweden (21:00)
Korea Republic vs Germany (17:00)
Mexico vs Sweden (19:00)
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