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Stielike seeks to close gap

South Korea
 By John Duerden

Another UAE Panenka nightmare for Japan while Australia cruise past Iraq

Ahmed Khalil was the latest to make the highlight reel with a panenka penalty.

If you want to make friends with football fans in Japan in the near future it's probably best not to mention the United Arab Emirates or Panenka penalties -- though a reference to needing goalline technology will be well-received.

Emotions are running high in the Land of the Rising Sun after losing 2-1 at home to UAE on Thursday evening in the opening game of the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Losing the first game in Group B was not part of the Saitama Stadium script but at...

 By Jason Dasey

Asian Games could provide lifeline for Tottenham's Son Heung-Min

The Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang have emerged as unlikely, but crucial destinations in the topsy-turvy career of South Korean winger Son Heung-Min.

After a disappointing Rio Olympics, and with the 24-year-old reportedly facing an uncertain future at Tottenham Hotspur, the 2018 Asian Games on Indonesian soil are already coming into focus for Korea's top young players.

A gold medal at the multi-sports event would excuse all team members from having to serve the mandatory National Service...

 By John Duerden

China vs. South Korea in Champions League and World Cup showdowns

Shanghai SIPG face Jeonbuk for a place in the Asian Champions League semifinals later this month.

The next few weeks produces a fascinating club and country China vs. South Korea football trilogy that could prove to be as big as a Hollywood blockbuster.

This East Asian rivalry has historically been one-sided in the favour of Seoul (Korea have lost just once in 30 international meetings) but the upper-hand is not quite as strong as it was.

That will be tested this week in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League as the two East Asian ties are both Sino-Korean affairs.


 By Tom Marshall

Korea Republic showdown sink or swim time for Mexico at the Olympics

Mexico's Olympic squad is in Brasilia for its final Group C match at Rio 2016 against Korea Republic.

Victory is a must for El Tri if it is to book a place in the quarterfinal of the men's football tournament.

Here are three things you need to know:

1. No room for mistakes for El Tri

The main question hanging over this Mexican Olympic team in Brazil has been whether it can rekindle the kind of magic that led El Tri to victory over a Neymar-led Brazil in Wembley to win gold four years ago in London.


ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2016 Olympics men's football preview

The Olympic football tournament is almost set to kick off in Rio de Janeiro. Here is a preview of all 16 teams.


BRAZIL: The Brazilians are red-hot favourites to at last win the only title they are lacking, both because of the depleted competition and because they are taking it so seriously. For many Brazilians, the men's football tournament will be the most important part of the Games. Moreover, after years of disappointment, Brazil need something special to bring the fans back onside.


 By John Duerden

South Korea, Japan and Iraq look to Olympics to erase World Cup agony

The last time Asia went to Brazil its four representatives failed to win a single game between them. The 2016 Olympics should be a happier hunting ground than the 2014 World Cup. But then it couldn't be any worse.

All three Asian teams -- South Korea, Japan and Iraq -- preparing for the men's football tournament at the Olympics have finished in the last four of the competition in the past. The continent would love to have such a record at the World Cup.

Asia likes the Olympics; it is a big deal...