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2018 World Cup Qualifying: China have won just two of prior 34 matches vs. South Korea

Reporter: Luo Gang 丨 CCTV.com

09-01-2016 15:42 BJT

China and South Korea have met in 34 matches considered official by FIFA. And the series has not been kind to the PRC, as they have 2 wins, 13 draws, and 19 losses against their regional rivals. In fact, the Chinese national team failed to beat the Taeguk Warriors in any of their 27 meetings between 1978 and 2010, before finally ending that 32-year run of futility during Gao Hongbo's first tenure on the touchline.

The two sides have engaged in plenty of classic showdowns over the years however, including an Olympic qualifier in 1983 for the 1984 Los Angeles Games. The South Koreans led 3-0 after 50 minutes, but China battled back with three unanswered goals to force a stunning draw that left the Taeguk Warriors kneeling on the pitch in disbelief, while the resilient Chinese players erupted in jubilation.

Flashing forward six years, the two teams would clash during World Cup Qualifying for the first time, with a trip to the 1990 tournament in Italy on the line. South Korea prevailed 1-0, dashing China's hopes of reaching the main draw.

As the calendar flipped to the new millennium, the two rivals would meet in pool play at the 2000 Asian Cup in Lebanon. The Taeguk Warriors went up 2-0, but the PRC's Su Maozhen would bury a header, before Fan Zhiyi drilled a penalty to salvage a 2-ALL result, as both squads advanced.

But the East Asian Football Championship has been the main battlefield for some of these two sides most memorable tussles, including six close encounters in the 21st Century. And it was at this tournament in 2010 that Gao's men thrashed South Korea 3-0 during the round robin competition, breaking their frustrating 32-year drought against their adversaries, en route to winning the trophy.

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