December 04, 2017 10:34
Korea has its work cut out for it in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia after being put in the same group as Germany, Mexico and Sweden in a draw in Moscow on Friday.
Germany is the defending champion, while Mexico frequently makes it beyond the group stage and Sweden is a northern European powerhouse.
The World Cup kicks off on June 14 next year and runs for about a month, with matches to be played in 11 cities across Russia. The top two teams from each group will advance to the round of 16, with the final to be held at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on July 15.
Korea's first match will be against Sweden in Nizhny Novgorod on June 18.
ESPN put Korea's chance of advancing to the round of 16 at 18.3 percent, citing an analysis by FiveThirtyEight. The site said Germany had an 82.5 percent chance of advancing, followed by Mexico with 51 percent and Sweden with 48.2 percent. The figure combines the estimated chance of winning the group and of being the runner-up.
Korea made its World Cup debut in Switzerland in 1954. This will be the country's ninth consecutive World Cup since the 1986 event in Mexico. Its best ever finish was reaching the semifinal of the 2002 World Cup jointly held by Korea and Japan. It made it beyond the group stage on one other occasion, in South Africa in 2010.
Korea's all-time record at the World Cup is five wins, nine draws, and 17 losses, with 31 goals scored and 67 goals allowed.
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