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26th Minute, Hwang Sun-Hong, South Korea v Poland, 2002 World Cup Group Stage


Before the 2002 World Cup South Korea had never advanced beyond the group stage of the World Cup. They had played in every World Cup since 1986 and had failed to win a game. The South Korean FA knew they had to make big changes in time for the 2002 tournament on home soil and they brought in Dutch coach Guus Hiddink.

Hiddink worked on getting Korea playing a high tempo, hard-working game whilst feeding off the feverous crowds cloaked in red. In their first game against Poland they struggled in the opening quarter of the game as nerves appeared to be getting the better of them but there were signs they were going to cause Poland problems too once they settled.

The Goal

The nerves disappeared as soon as this happened…

What Happened Next?

The hosts went from strength to strength beating Portugal, Italy and Spain on an incredible, fortuitous and often controversial run to the semi-finals where they lost to Germany.


The incredible scenes on the streets of Korea during 2002…

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