One of three teams to automatically qualify for the finals of the E-1 Football Championship, Korea Republic will kick off their tournament against China on the 9th of December having previously won this championship in 2003, 2008 and most recently in 2015.
Korea Rep. will undoubtedly be keen to win the tournament once again but will also see this competition as a chance to prepare further for next summer’s World Cup in Russia that they have qualified for. Friday’s draw put South Korea in Group F of the World Cup alongside Germany, Mexico and Sweden.
Purely as a result of that qualification, 2017 can be considered to have been a successful year so far for Korea Rep. The team finished second in Asia’s Group A of World Cup qualification behind Iran, narrowly securing their qualification just two points ahead of Syria and Uzbekistan despite failing to win any of their final three qualifiers.
Their win over Syria back in March was therefore arguably their most significant result of the year so far, narrowly picking up that 1-0 victory thanks to a goal from Hong Jeong-Ho. However, as someone who plays his club football in Europe like Son Heung-Min and Ki Sung-Yueng, Hong Jeong-Ho will not be participating in the EAFF E-1 Championship.
Shin Tae-yong is the current manager of Korea Rep. and has been in charge since July. Shin previously worked with South Korea’s U20 side and won the AFC Champions League as a player with South Korean side Seongnam.
As a glance over the full Korea Republic squad listed below will show you, there will be two Chinese Super League representatives playing in Japan for South Korea – Tianjin Quanjian’s Kwon Kyung-won and Chongqing Lifan’s Jung Woo-young.
Kwon has enjoyed a fantastic first season in the CSL after joining from Al-Ahli in January, appearing 21 times for Tianjin as they secured a spot in the 2018 AFC Champions League. After playing only once in Tianjin’s first 9 games of the season, Kwon forced his way into the side and was an ever-present for the rest of the campaign.
Jung Woo-young also made 21 CSL appearances this year in what was his second campaign with Chongqing. The defensive midfielder played his part in a team that are fairly strong defensively, though a lack of goals at the other end meant Chongqing had a poor finish to the season and consequentially finished 10th on the CSL ladder.
Korea Republic Squad for the 2017 EAFF E-1 Football Championship
Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo Osaka), Cho Hyun-woo (Daegu FC), Kim Dong-jun (Seongnam FC).
(C) Jang Hyun-soo (FC Tokyo), Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Kim Min-woo (Suwon Samsung Bluewings), Go Yo-han (FC Seoul), Choi Chul-soon (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Kwon Kyung-won (Tianjin Quanjian), Kim Min-jae (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Yun Young-sun (Sangju Sangmu), Jung Seung-hyun (Sagan Tosu).
Lee Keun-ho (Gangwon FC), Yeom Ki-hun (Suwon Samsung Bluewings), Lee Jae-sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Jung Woo-young (Chongqing Lifan), Lee Myung-joo (FC Seoul), Yun Il-lok (FC Seoul), Ju Se-jong (FC Seoul), Lee Chang-min (Jeju United), Kim Sung-Joon (Seongnam FC).
Kim Shin-wook (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Lee Jeong-hyeop (Busan IPark), Jin Seong-wook (Jeju United).