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YOUNG-PYO'S TARGET

Posted on 6 June 2006  - 12:00

Lee Young-Pyo insists reaching the knockout stages in Germany will represent a successful World Cup for South Korea.

Lee Young-Pyo insists reaching the knockout stages in Germany will represent a successful World Cup for South Korea.

Young-Pyo’s country were the story of the last tournament in 2002 when they reached the semi-finals on home soil.

Under the guidance of Guus Hiddink, South Korea beat Portugal on the way to topping their group before knocking out Italy and Spain.

Young-Pyo started those three matches and was in the line-up again when the dream finally ended in the semi-finals against Germany. They lost the third/fourth place play-off against Turkey.

“The last World Cup was unbelievably enjoyable for the national team and for our nation,†recalled Young-Pyo, who played 32 times for us in his first season in the Premiership. “That was a special case, I think.

“This Korean team is much better than last time because many players now have experience of European football and there are so many good young guys coming through.

“But this World Cup is in Europe and it will be harder for us - I think if we get into the second round it will be a successful for Korea.â€Â

South Korea face France, Switzerland and Togo in Group G with Young-Pyo kicking-off against Togo on June 13.

“Our target has to be to get to the knockout stages,†he added. “I'm very positive because we played in the semi-final of the last World Cup and that is very advantageous for us, that will help us.â€Â