Wednesday, Jun. 02, 2010

North Korea

Manager: Kim-Jong Hun

Best: Quarter-final (1966)

North Korea will be appearing in its first World Cup since 1966, where they famously beat Italy 1-0 before audaciously taking a 3-0 lead against Portugal in the quarter-finals, though they eventually lost 5-3. Simply making the second round from this Group of Death would rank as an equivalent achievement this time. Not too much is even known about the squad — most of whom are based on home soil — but Russian-based forward Hong Yong Jo is considered their most potent threat. Fellow striker Jong Tae Se will also hope to make his mark, midfielder Mun In Guk holds the team together and goalkeeper Ri Myong Guk is no mug. That he will be kept busy is the understatement of the year.

Player to watch: In a team of unknowns, FC Rostov striker Hong Yong Jo could cause a mild stir if he adds to his 11 goals for the national team.