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South Korea vow to end Asian Cup title drought

Canberra, Jan 9: The South Korean football team has its sights on the elusive Asian Cup title, captain Ki Sung Yueng said here on Friday. “It’s a shame. We have participated in the most (Asian Cups) but never won. It’s weird,” Ki Sung, who currently plays for English Premier League club Swansea, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

After disappointing performances in the World Cup last year in Brazil, the South Korean team is under great pressure.

“We want to bring confidence although we can’t say that we are the strongest in Asia,” Ki Sung said. “Tomorrow we will have the first game. If we win, there will be less pressure,” Ki Sung said.

Head Coach Uli Stielike refused to let the shadow of the defeats in the World Cup affect the morale. “Brazil is the past. We have to look forward. We can change the (negative) atmosphere in South Korea in tomorrow’game,” said Stielike. “We have confidence in our players. As I said in South Korea, I will bring the team not only to the TV but also into the hearts of the people. You can only do that by playing good football with good result.”

South Korea have some of Asia’s best players who are playing in top European leagues, including Ki Sung in Swansea, Son Heung Min for Leverkusen in Bundesliga, and Lee Chung Yong for Bolton in the Championship League.

However, Stielike, a former Germany defender, said they are not after individual success. “If we don’t run good as a team, the individuals can do nothing. We have to bring everybody together.” IANS

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Ankur Kalita

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