Korea DPR’s last appearance in the World Cup was in 1966, when they made it all the way to the final eight. The team overcame formidable odds to make it to South Africa. Most observers think they have no shot; but that doesn’t mean the Chollima will go quietly.
Country: Korea DPR
Team: The Chollima
Colors: Red and white
Korea DPR’s tough defense will keep them in matches. During qualifications, the Chollima (a mythical horse) held off a strong South Korean side, drawing three out of four matches against their arch-rivals. And if given an opportunity to score, they will capitalize.
Key Players: Jong Tae-Se, An Yong-Hak and Ri Myong-Guk
The team’s meager international experience rests with Jong and An, both of whom play on Japanese club teams. Their speed can threaten opponents, and they are dangerous when mounting air strikes.
Goalkeeper Ri makes saves and dictates the defense. A nominee for 2009 Asian Footballer of the Year, he allowed only seven goals in 16 qualifying matches. Impressive, but now he’ll be pitted against the best in the world.
Key Matchup: Korea DPR vs. Brazil
If the Chollima catch Brazil asleep in the opening match, it will go down as one of the greatest football upsets of all time.
In another group, Korea DPR might have a fighting chance to advance. In all honesty, the team’s tournament hopes were over the minute they were drawn to play in Group G.
Related link: World Cup 2010 Countdown