South Koreans to make soccer qualifier 'painful' for Iran
South Korea's coach added spice to next week's crunch World Cup qualifier with Iran when he promised to "make life painful" for the visitors following a series of grievances.
Choi Kang-hee was speaking after the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists edged Uzbekistan 1-0 to claim a one-point lead in group A, ahead of Iran who will make the journey to Ulsan for their final game on Tuesday.
South Korea suffered problems ranging from visa issues to poor training facilities and dangerous tackles during their trip to Tehran last October, when they lost 1-0 in an ugly clash.
Choi said memories of such treatment were still fresh in the minds of his players, adding they would be seeking revenge as they set their sights on an eighth successive World Cup berth.
"Nothing has been determined yet, and we will play hard until the end," he said. "Our players all remember the poor treatment they got [in Tehran]. I think we must make life painful for Iran."
Next week South Korea can settle scores by claiming a win which could deny Iran a top-two finish and automatic qualification for their fourth World Cup next year in Brazil.
Uzbekistan, just two points behind Iran and playing already eliminated Qatar at home next week, are also backing South Korea as they bid for second spot and the first World Cup berth for any Central Asian country.
"I hope South Korea play a good match against Iran so that both of us can advance to the World Cup," said coach Mirjalol Kasimov.
In group B, Australia are in the box seats following their 4-0 win over Lebanon. They can seal their fourth World Cup berth, and third in a row, when they take on out-of-contention Iraq.