Korea unveils Olympic football roster for final qualification road trip
A roster of 21 footballers for the nation's Olympic squad was set Wednesday ahead of the final road trip in the ongoing regional qualification.
South Korea will retain most of the stars from the recently concluded King's Cup tournament in Thailand. The Koreans came out on top with two wins and a draw after round-robin play against Norway, Thailand and Denmark.
Forward Kim Hyun-sung and winger Seo Jung-jin, who each scored twice in Thailand, will be on the Olympic team. They're joined by midfielders Kim Bo-kyung and Yoon Bitgaram, offensive sparkplugs during King's Cup.
The Olympic squad is set to face Saudi Arabia on Feb. 5 and then Oman on Feb. 22 during the final round of the Asian qualification for the 2012 London Olympics. The final qualification match for Korea is against Oman at home on March 14.
South Korea is in the driver's seat as the leader of Group A, with seven points after three matches. Oman is in second place with four points, followed by Qatar with three and Saudi Arabia with one.
In the current qualifying stage, there are three groups of four nations. Only the top seeds will earn automatic berths to London.
Runners-up will enter a playoff, which will be their final chance to qualify.
The Olympic team is scheduled to depart for Qatar early Thursday to set up training camp.
Seeking its seventh straight Olympic appearance and ninth overall, South Korea has never won a medal in football. It has advanced beyond the first round only twice in eight previous appearances at Olympic tournaments.
Olympic football teams are open only to players younger than 23, but countries can pick up to three players over that limit in "wild card" selections. (Yonhap)