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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 5, 2008

S.Korea confident ahead of Turkmenistan game

SEOUL, Feb 5 (Reuters) - South Korea captain Kim Nam-il is confident the Asian powerhouse will begin their quest for a place at their seventh-successive World Cup finals with a victory against unfancied Turkmenistan.

'We hope to meet our fans' expectations by having our first win,' Kim Nam-il, a midfielder with Japanese league side Vissel Kobe, told reporters on Tuesday.

Joining Kim in the team for Wednesday's match are English Premier League players Park Ji-sung of Manchester United, Lee Young-pyo of Tottenham and Seol Ki-hyeon of Fulham.

South Korea hired Huh Jong-moo as national coach for the second time in December, succeeding Dutchman Pim Verbeek, who resigned last July after South Korea finished third at the Asian Cup.

'We are starting on a long journey. We have to focus on winning this match because we need the points,' Huh told reporters.

Also in the same qualifying group are North Korea and Jordan.

Turkmenistan coach Rakhim Kurbanmamedov said: 'In terms of expertise and experience, I think South Korea are the strongest in Asia.'

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