Korea Republic looking to replicate 1986 U20 World Cup success
FIFA U20 World Cup
29 July - 20 August 2011
Click here for fixtures
Click here for World Cup match schedule
Samuel Philip Steinbock
Korea Republic's most successful campaign at the FIFA U-20 FIFA World Cup took place in Mexico 1983, where they stormed into the semi-finals. Since then, the young Taeguk Warriors have managed to go beyond the group stage only three times in eight attempts.
Coach Lee Kwang-Jong is one of the most experienced coaches in youth football, having worked full-time for the Korean FA's youth setup for more than 10 years.
The 11-time Asian champions Korea Republic opened their qualifying campaign at the AFC U-19 Championship in China, cruising past Iran and Yemen with striker Ji Dong-Won scoring in each game. Their final game of the group saw a goaless draw against Australia which meant a Quarter final against arch-rivals Japan.
In an exciting game, Japan lead 2-0 half way through the first-half but 3 quickfire goals from Kim Kyung-Jung, Hwang Do-Yeon and Jung Seung-Yong on the stroke of half-time earned them a place in the last four.
Despite a 2-0 defeat at the hands of eventual winners Korea DPR, it was still enough to get them to Colombia where they hope to better their achievement in 1983.
Kwang-Jong's attack-minded approach was enough to guide Korea's Under-17 squad to the semi-finals at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria, and expect to see the same approach with his U20 side.