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Korea to play friendlies against Costa Rica and Chile

Aug 07,2018
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The Korean national football team trains for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov, Saint Petersburg, Russia on June 25. [YONHAP]
Korea on Monday confirmed the venues for the upcoming friendly football matches against Costa Rica and Chile at home.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said the men’s national football team will take on Costa Rica at Goyang Stadium in Goyang, Gyeonggi, north of Seoul, on Sept. 7 and play against Chile in Busan, 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of the capital, on Sept. 11. Both matches will kick off at 8 p.m.

The two friendlies will be Korea’s first two friendly matches after 2018 FIFA World Cup, where they suffered a group stage exit against Germany, Sweden and Mexico.

Korea last played an international match in Goyang in September 2014, when they suffered a 1-0 loss to Uruguay.

The Taeguk Warriors will play their first match in Busan since December 2004. The national team produced a surprising 3-1 win over Germany in the port city 14 years ago.

Korea is looking to play the September friendlies under a new coach. The KFA is currently searching for a bench boss, with Shin Tae-yong, who coached Korea at the World Cup, listed as one of the candidates. Shin’s contract with the KFA expired last month.

Costa Rica is ranked No. 23 in the latest FIFA rankings, 34 spots higher than Korea. They also competed at the 2018 World Cup but failed to reach the round of 16 from Group E. Costa Rica lost to Serbia 1-0 and fell to Brazil 2-0 before getting a 2-2 draw with Switzerland.

Korea and Costa Rica have split head-to-head meetings at three wins, two draws and three losses apiece. The two teams last met in October 2014 in Seoul, where Korea suffered a 3-1 loss.

Chile, ranked world No. 9, won the 2016 Copa America and were runners-up at the 2017 Confederations Cup, but they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Still, La Roja is considered one of the solid South American teams, having two wins and two draws against World Cup participants in recent friendly matches.

Korea and Chile have played each other only once, with Chile prevailing 1-0 in Seoul in January 2008.

Yonhap