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Nat'l football team returns home after two friendlies in Europe

All News 12:48 June 07, 2016

INCHEON, June 7 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean men's national football team returned home on Tuesday after splitting two friendly matches in Europe.

Led by head coach Uli Stielike, South Korea arrived at Incheon International Airport after losing to Spain 6-1 last Wednesday in Austria but beating the Czech Republic 2-1 in Prague Sunday.

These were the Taeguk Warriors' first matches against European teams since Stielike took the helm in September 2014. The two friendly matches were scheduled to help South Korea prepare for the final Asian qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup starting in September.

Of the 20-man squad, only 15 came home Tuesday. Attacking midfielder Nam Tae-hee already landed in South Korea last week for his wedding on Saturday, and four players -- midfielder Jung Woo-young, defender Kim Kee-hee, goalkeepers Jung Sung-ryong and Kim Jin-hyeon -- took different flights from Prague to join their Chinese and Japanese clubs.

Yoon Bitgaram, who scored the team's opening goal against the Czechs with a free kick, arrived at the airport with the main squad, but immediately left for China to play for his club Yanbian Funde.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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