The Korea Herald


Korea faces Saudi Arabia for London 2012

By Oh Kyu-wook

Published : July 7, 2011 - 18:21

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Korea’s U23 head coach Hong Myung-bo (Yonhap News) Korea’s U23 head coach Hong Myung-bo (Yonhap News)

South Korea is grouped with Saudi Arabia in the final Asian qualifying round for the London 2012 Olympics.

In a draw held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday, Korea was picked to face the Middle Eastern side along with Qatar and Oman in Group A.

Twelve teams have qualified for the third round where they have been divided into three groups of four teams in Thursday’s draw.

In Group B, Australia is pitted with Iraq, Uzbekistan and the UAE, while Japan is in Group C with Bahrain, Syria and Malaysia.

Manager Hong Myung-bo’s U23 team advanced to the final round of Asian qualifiers by defeating Jordan in its second round playoffs in June.

Asia has 3.5 tickets for the London Olympics. The winners of the three groups will automatically qualify for the Olympic Games.

The group runners-up will play off against each other, and the winner will meet the fourth-best team from Africa for a final berth in London.

Korea is trying to reach its seventh straight Olympics in London next year, and to make its ninth overall appearance at the quadrennial competition. The final qualifying round will kick off on Sep. 21. 

By Oh Kyu-wook (