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 By John Duerden
5 days ago

South Korea, Australia and Japan have Asian Cup questions to answer

Japan head coach Javier Aguirre has one eye on the Asia Cup as they prepare for their international friendly against Brazil.

The Asian Cup is less than three months away, but some of the favourites for that tournament are very much in transitional stages. Too much can be read into results and performances, but as time to kickoff ticks down, some of their concerns need to be addressed.

Those issues have more weight on the heels of a World Cup that for Asia was, well, terrible. That tournament will loom large in the collective continental consciousness for years to come. Costa Rica collected more points than the three...

 By John Duerden
Oct 8, 2014

New South Korea manager Uli Stielike begins rebuilding process

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson weigh in on South Korea's new identity under Korea looks for new life under Uli Stielike.

It's taken almost four months but the future of South Korea starts Friday in the city of Chonan, an hour south of Seoul, as Uli Stielike takes charge of his first game of the national team against Paraguay before matching up against Costa Rica four days later.

The German is lucky. For the first time in a good while, there is something of a feel-good factor in Korean football. The World Cup, and its solitary point and myriad issues, is going to take time to forget, but there are at least other things...

Sep 23, 2014

Qatar World Cup speculation provides a lot of smoke, but no fire yet

Ever since Qatar was awarded the right to host the 2022 World Cup, hope has remained in some quarters that the tournament would ultimately be taken away from the tiny Middle Eastern country. Allegations of corruption have generated plenty of smoke, as have the appalling working conditions inside the country. Yet there hasn't been any fire, at least by FIFA's narrow definition.

The accumulation of fuel continues, however. The latest addition to the possible pyrotechnics came this week when FIFA Executive...

 By John Duerden
Jul 9, 2014

Hong Myung-bo resigns after poor WC

After intense scrutiny following South Korea's exit from the World Cup, Hong Myung-bo announced his resignation on Thursday.

It has been a painful few weeks for South Korean football. First, the Taeguk Warriors collect just one point at the World Cup, and then they return home and it really starts to go wrong.

It all led to this: On Thursday morning, less than two weeks after the team exited Group H with a defeat to Belgium, coach Hong Myung-bo resigned in Seoul.

The man who delivered bronze at the 2012 Olympics, offered to resign as soon as the team's tournament ended but his employers at the KFA refused to accept it....

 By John Duerden
Jul 7, 2014

South Korea's favourite Son

South Korea coach Hong Myung-Bo addresses the media following their 1-0 defeat against Belgium.

There were rumours at the 2002 World Cup that South Korea's young star Lee Chun-soo dyed his hair blond to make it easier for European scouts to pick him out. Perhaps it worked, as he was soon on his way to La Liga even if the highlights on his head outshone anything on the pitch.

A few weeks before Brazil, Son Heung-min did the same, though surely not for the same supposed reason; he is the kind of player who has never had a problem when it comes to standing out.

- Assessment: South Korea listless
-...

 By John Duerden
Jul 1, 2014

10 reasons why Asia failed at the World Cup

Carlos Queiroz left his post as Iran manager following his side's exit in the group stages while other Asian clubs struggled this summer.

A look at why Asia struggled as a whole at this World Cup...

Lack of leadership

When Korean coach Hong Myung-bo went to Netherlands to visit Park Ji-sung in March, he wasn't there to scout potential latter stage opposition but to persuade the PSV Eindhoven man to return from international retirement. "This young team needs a veteran," said Hong. Park's knackered knees knocked that idea on the head but it was clear that Korea missed the experience and leadership of such a star. Japan also didn't...