Park’s World Cup hopes improve after recall for friendly

He recently joined Championship (second tier) side Watford on loan until the end of the season, boosting his chances of more playing opportunities.


Hong had left the former South Korea captain, who played at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, out of his squad for previous warmup matches for this year’s finals and said this might be his “last chance” to see Park before naming his squad for Brazil.

“I agonised over this decision,” Hong told reporters on Wednesday. “I spoke to him on the phone a few times.

“Though he’s not playing at the moment, I figured he is still in decent form, and it wouldn’t be a problem to have him on our time.”

South Korea, who will be making their eighth consecutive appearance at the World Cup finals in Brazil, lost their recent friendly matches to Mexico and the United States and will play Greece in Athens on March 5.

The Koreans have been drawn in Group H in Brazil, alongside Belgium, Russia and Algeria at the June 12-July 13 tournament.

Squad: Jung Sung-ryong (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo Osaka), Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan Hyundai), Kwak Tae-hwi (Al Hilal), Hong Jeong-ho (Augusburg), Hwang Seok-ho (Hirosima Sanfrecce), Cha Du-ri (FC Seoul), Kim Jin-soo (Albirex Niigata), Lee Yong (Ulsan Hyundai), Park Joo-ho (FSV Mainz 05), Kim Young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Kim Bo-kyung (Cardiff City), HA Dae-sung (Beijing Guoan), Koo Ja-cheol (FSV Mainz 05), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton), Ki Sung-yueng (Sunderland), Nam Tae-hee (Lekhwiya SC), Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen), Park Jong-woo (Guangzhou R&F), Han Kook-young (Shonan Bellmare), Ji Dong-won (Augusburg), Lee Keun-ho (Sangju Sangmu), Park Chu-young (Watford), Kim Shin-wook (Ulsan Hyundai)

(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by John O’Brien)