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World Cup qualifying fixtures set for S. Korea

All News 20:51 May 19, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- Fixtures for South Korea's World Cup qualifying matches at home have been set.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced Wednesday that South Korea, as the host of the remainder of the second Asian qualifying round for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, will face Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka and Lebanon in Group H action in June.

All matches will be played at Goyang Stadium in the city of Goyang, just northwest of Seoul.

South Korea will play Turkmenistan at 8 p.m. on June 5, followed by Sri Lanka at 8 p.m. on June 9. Then the final match will be against Lebanon at 3 p.m. on June 13.

In this file photo from Oct. 10, 2019, Son Heung-min of South Korea (R) dribbles the ball against Sri Lanka in the teams' Group H match in the second round of the Asian qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Hwaseong Sports Complex Main Stadium in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

North Korea had also been in Group H but they recently withdrew from the competition.

Teams last played qualifying matches in November 2019. They were supposed to return to action in March 2020, but all qualifying matches scheduled for that year were wiped out by the global coronavirus pandemic.

FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) settled on South Korea as the centralized venue for remaining matches, in order to reduce travel during the pandemic.

From the second round, the eight group winners and the four-best runners-up will advance to the next round.

After four matches, South Korea are in second place with eight points. Turkmenistan are leading the way with nine points but they have played five matches.

South Korea have played in each of the past nine World Cups.

South Korea coach Paulo Bento will announce his roster for these upcoming matches on Monday. Training camp will open on May 31.

The AFC hasn't decided how to work around North Korea's absence in the remaining matches. North Korea had been scheduled to play Sri Lanka, South Korea and Turkmenistan.

In this file photo from Nov. 14, 2019, South Korean starters stand for their national anthem before facing Lebanon in Group H action in the second round of the Asian qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in Beirut. (Yonhap)


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