Korea Republic coach Cho Kwang-Rae has named a strong squad for the country's opening FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Lebanon on 2 September. Cho has called up six Europe-based players though is without Bolton winger Lee Chung-Yong (broken leg) and Wolfsburg midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol (torn ankle ligaments).
After the 3-0 defeat in Japan on 10 August, Cho has summoned young forwards Ji Dong-Won of Sunderland and Hamburg's Son Heung-Min, both of whom missed the game in Sapporo. There are few surprises in the team with Hong Jeong-Ho returning to the squad after being omitted last time due to questions over his involvement in the K-League's match-fixing scandal. The young defender has since been cleared of any wrongdoing.
"If we get all our usual defenders back in the fold, I don't think we need to worry too much about the defence," Cho said. "We have a little more time to work together (than before the Japanese game), and we should be able to replicate the defensive cohesion from earlier."
The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait complete the group in the third round of qualification from which the top two progress to the final stage.
Korea Republic squad:
Goalkeepers: Kim Young-Kwang (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Jin-Hyun (Cerezo Osaka, Japan), Jung Sung-Ryong (Suwon Bluewings)
Defenders: Kim Young-Kwon (Omiya Ardija, Japan), Lee Jae-Seong (Ulsan Hyundai), Lee Jung-Soo (Al Sadd, Qatar), Cho Young-Cheol (Albirex Niigata, Japan), Cha Du-Ri (Celtic, Scotland), Hong Jeong-Ho (Jeju United), Chul Hong (Seongnam Ilhwa)
Midfielders: Ki Sung-Yueng (Celtic, Scotland), Kim Bo-Kyung (Cerezo Osaka, Japan), Kim Jae-Sung (Pohang Steelers), Kim Jung-Woo (Sangju Sangmu), Nam Tae-Hee (Valenciennes, France), Park Hyun-Beom (Suwon Bluewings), Yeom Ki-Hun (Suwon Bluewings), Lee Yong-Rae (Suwon Bluewings), Yoon Bit-Garam (Gyeongnam FC), Lee Keun-Ho (Gamba Osaka, Japan)
Forwards: Park Chu-Young (AS Monaco, France), Ji Dong-Won (Sunderland, England), Son Heung-Min (Hamburg, Germany), Jung Jo-Gook (Auxerre, France)