Boasting lightning pace and a nose for goal, nimble Kim Kum-Il could prove to be a secret weapon up front as Korea DPR seek to stun their heavyweight rivals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
The 22-year-old forward made three appearances during Korea DPR’s successful qualifying campaign, utilized as an impact player to come off the bench replacing the likes of Mun In-Guk or Hong Yong-Jo. Indeed, despite enjoying limited playing, Kim has shown that he is more than capable of assuming the role of supersub.
He showed a glimpse of his quality in a crucial qualifier against the United Arab Emirates in Asia’s final round of qualifying for the South Africa 2010. With the game goalless and UAE threatening, substitute Kim surged forward from midfield before threading a perfect pass through for Chol Kum-Chol, whose cross-cum-shot was deflected home by Basheer Saeed.
Kim first broke on to the continental scene when he steered Korea DPR to the Asian title in the 2006 AFC U-19 Championship, scoring four goals and earning the Most Valuable Player award. He also went on to spearhead the North Koreans’ attacking line-up in the following year’s FIFA U20 World Cup in Canada, and found the net in a 2-2 draw with eventual finalists Czech Republic. His outstanding performances at both continental and global level earned him the 2007 AFC Youth Player of the Year awards.