Brazil 2014: Korea wraps up fourth in group stage, no Asian squad in final 16Updated: 2014-06-27 17:55:42 (KST)
We now have the names of all 16 teams that are staying behind in Brazil for the remainder of the World Cup 2014 and Korea is not on the list.
Team Korea lost its final group match against Belgium,1-nil, packing up with a draw and two losses and not a single win.
Our Song Ji-sun joins us for a wrap up of Korea's or Asia's disappointing performance on Latin American soil.
Ji-sun, there was no miracle in the end.
Korea needed a massive victory over Belgium to advance to the next round but those hopes faded as Korea lost ONE-NIL and Algeria drew ONE-ONE with Russia on Thursday.
Coach Hong Myung-bo finally changed his mind to put Kim Shin-wook as the lone striker in his line-up and even replaced goalkeeper Jung Sungryong with Kim Seung-gyu.
Kim actually fared well on his World Cup debut but lost a goal as Belgium's Jan Vertonghen netted after Kim failed to hang on to a shot.
Just before the end of first half Belgium's Steven Defour was sent off for stepping on Kim Shin-wook's ankle but the Korean footballers couldn't take advantage over the 10-man squad.
Korea's coach Hong Myung-bo has many questions to answer when he returns home - Were the best eleven really the best choice for the Korean squad?
I'm sure he was waiting for that one-shot from Park Chu-young.
But Park, who's been sitting on the bench for most of the time in his club, started Korea's first two critical matches -- only to go unnoticed the whole while.
Park leaves Brazil without a single goal or run on goal while two other forwards -- domestic league players replaced Park in the second half the first two matches.
Lee Keun-ho, serving in the military playing for army team Sangmu, scored while playing less than a half and the tall Kim Shin-wook did well fighting off Algerian and Belgian players for the ball.
Korea's young midfielders, who play in European leagues, showed greater potential.
Son Heung-min scored in his first World Cup as the youngest player on the squad and captain Koo Ja-cheol also played his part as Ki Sung-yueng backed up the strikers.
Korea's elimination means all four Asian squads have packed their bags at group stages. What went wrong with Team Korea and the other Asian squads?
As for the Taegeuk Warriors, there weren't many surprises for the opposition, as their line-up hadn't changed much from previous years.
In contrast, the Belgian team used seven new players in the last match.
Korea's performance in Brazil 2014 is the worst result since the 1998 France World Cup, but as you said, we aren't the only Asian team leaving Brazil with our heads down.
Asia will not be represented in the round of 16 -- and without a single World Cup championship in 24 years, the region's quota could be at risk.
There is a lot of analysis out there as to why the Asian teams had such a poor showing in Brazil.
Some are saying the talent gap between the football strongholds in Europe and Asia is widening because the Asian squads are merely trying to emulate the European teams, which are evolving and progressing at a faster pace.
Half of the 32 teams, including Korea, are either already home or are about to leave Brazil but the game is on for the final 16.
Now how do the games roll for them from now on?
There are no matches on this Friday giving the top 16 a day to rest and to prep for the knockout stage.
Four teams from the host continent start the second stage with Brazil versus Chile at 1 PM on Saturday, local time.
Luis Suarez won't be able to play for his national team as the Uruguay forward was banned from nine international matches for biting an Italian opponent in the last match.
On Sunday, the top scoring squad of the Netherlands -- at ten goals -- will go against Mexico. We will see if Mexico's keeper Guillermo Ochoa can keep the free-scoring Dutch strikers at bay.
Well, this was a disappointing World Cup for Korea but the games should get much more exciting as we head into the knockout stage.
Thanks, Ji-sun for the coverage.
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