North Korea – World Cup 2010 – Betting
Manager: Kim Jong-Hun
Captain: Hong Yong-Jo
FIFA Ranking: 105
World Cup appearances: 1 – 1966
Best World Cup: Quarter-Finals – 1966
North Korea Team Profile
North Korea were the surprise package during qualifying as they defied the odds to snatch one of the four available automatic qualification spots to book their rightful place in South Africa where they’ll take to the field for just their second World Cup. The last time North Korea were involved in such a prestigious and global football spectacle was way back in 1966, a year when England won the World Cup on English soil and the North Koreans surpassed everyone’s expectations by finishing as a losing quarter-finalists. They surely won’t record a personal best in South Africa as times have dramatically changed since their glory days of 66, but the Koreans will nevertheless make the most of this glorious opportunity, while their reward for all their hard work during qualifying was to be dropped slap bang in the middle of South Africa’s version of the ‘Group of Death’.
North Korea, if they were truly honest with each other, won’t make any real inroads considering the standard of football around Europe and South America these days, so the dream would have been to land a group which consisted of at least one of the world’s biggest footballing forces. They got that in Brazil, but as typical as their surprise inclusion in South Africa was, North Korea were then handed their second dream game as Portugal were drawn in the same group as themselves, as well as an interesting match up with the Ivory Coast from South Africa. The Koreans will get a taster of just about everything in South Africa, making their qualification well worthwhile despite the likelihood of some big defeats in South Africa when they finally land.
North Korea Key Players
The majority of the North Korea team are based in Asia, plying their trade in either the North Korean league of the Japanese J-League. With this, means the squad aren’t instantly recognisable, while none actually ring any bells if truth be told. But that will be seen as a double edged sword in that while the assumption maybe that North Korea’s players aren’t perhaps good enough to play in Europe, the fact we don’t know an awful lot about them makes them a little bit dangerous due to their unknown quantity feel about them.
Hong Yong-Jo looks to be the leading player in the North Korea camp, while he’s one of just a handful in the squad which has European experience through playing in Russia with FC Rostov. Yong-Jo is one of the more matured players in the Korea squad at 27 years-old, while his experience in Russia, aided by his 11 goals in 38 international appearances has led to Yong-Jo receiving the captains armband for his country.
Jong Tong-Se or ‘The People’s Rooney’ as the natives like to call him, is one of the more exciting players in the North Korea team, with his ambition and forward aggression complimented by some natural pace. Jong is a player which can make things happen, he doesn’t sit around waiting for the ball to come to him, the Kawasaki Frontale forward isn’t afraid to come deep and collect the ball from the half-way line, while at the same time he has this fearless attitude when it comes to charging into the heart of the opponents defence. The same can be said about some of his ‘audacious’ attempts from distance, willing to have a pop at goal.
We’ve seen Jong Tong-Se in action on a few occasions and every time we’ve been impressed with small Korean. From a nation where no-one really expects them to pull up trees in South Africa, to have a player with so much talent was quite startling. Believe me when I say this, Jong Tong-Se is player to keep an eye out for in South Africa.
Undoubtedly North Korea’s strength is their defending. The coach, Kim Jong-Hun, is clearly a wise man as throughout qualifying he kept faith with Korea’s solid set up, defending with large numbers but in an organised and well disciplined fashion They are a tough team to break down as they work hard and vigourously as a defensive unit to reduce the time and space the opponent has to enjoy on the ball when they approach Korea’s penalty area. Jong-Hun knows full well that were he to play attacking football, even against those nations back home in Asia who are superior in technical ability, his players would be on the receiving end of a mauling. The aim in South Africa will be more of the same; defend in numbers, with discipline and with army like organisation in a bid to perhaps sneak a hard-fought 0-0 draw.
The lack of well know players, the fact Korea don’t seem to have a striker in their midst to score the necessary amount of goals in South Africa needed to spring a surprise, there is plenty to be concerned about with North Korea. The fact only a select few ply their trade over in Europe is a massive concern as give half the chance, every one of the North Korean players would jump at the opportunity to play in Europe, which basically means they aren’t good enough.
North Korea Qualification for the World Cup
Goals Scored: 12
Goals Conceded: 4
World Cup Potential: 1/5
While few will even give North Korea a mention in their games in South Africa, the coach and the players will arrive in high spirits feeling confident that they can spring a few surprise. The aim will be not to fold or roll over in a Group most teams would be scared senseless about playing in.
The Koreans are a team full of home-grown players, with the majority of the team based in Asia. While this remains an apparent flaw in that very few have had the chance nor are good enough to play in some of Europe’s biggest leagues, it should lead to a closer group of players, a more united front from the Koreans as they set out to raise a few eyebrows in South Africa. We, though, if we’re brutally honest, can only see the Koreans leaving Africa with nothing to show for their hard work during qualifying, but then again just to be in their second World Cup in South Africa is an achievement in itself, while an expected ‘0’ points from their tough looking group will only slightly taint what will be a memorable few weeks for North Korea and it’s fans back home nonetheless
North Korea World Cup Betting Odds
North Korea to win the World Cup: 2500 – Bet365
Before the World Cup the odds on North Korea were 200/1
Official North Korea World Cup Squad
Myong-Guk Ri (Pyongyang City)
Myong-Gil Kim (Amrokgang)
Jong-Hyok Cha (Amrokgang)
Yun-Nam Ji (April 25)
Song Chol Nam (April 25)
Nam-Chol Pak (Amrokgang)
Chol-Jin Pak (Amrokgang)
Jun-Il Ri (Sobaeksu)
Kwang-Hyok Ri (April 25)
Yong-Hak An (Omiya Ardija)
Kyong-Il Kim (Rimyongsu)
Yong-Jun Kim (Pyongyang City)
In-Guk Mun (April 25)
Nam-Chol Pak (Amrokgang)
Chol-Myong Ri (Pyongyang City)
Sung Hyok Pak (Sobaeksu)
Chol-Hyok An (Rimyongsu)
Kum-Chol Choe (April 25)
Tae Se Jong (= Chong Tese) (Kawasaki Frontale)
Yong-Jo Hong (FK Rostow)
Kum-Il Kim (April 25)
Myong-Won Kim (Pyongyang)
last update: 18 June 2010
World Cup 2010 North Korea Fixtures – Group G
|Date - Time||Group||Match||Result|
|15/06 - 15.00||G||Ivory Coast - Portugal||0-0|
|15/06 - 19.30||G||Brazil - North Korea||2-1|
|20/06 - 19.30||G||Brazil - Ivory Coast||3-1|
|21/06 - 12.30||G||Portugal - North Korea||7-0|
|25/06 - 15.00||G||Portugal - Brazil||0-0|
|25/06 - 15.00||G||North Korea - Ivory Coast||0-3|
World Cup 2010 Group G - Table
|Rank||Team||Matches / Points|
|1||Brazil||3 Matches / 7 Points|
|2||Portugal||3 Matches / 5 Points|
|3||Ivory Coast||3 Matches / 4 Points|
|4||North Korea||3 Matches / 0 Points|