SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea will face Northern Ireland in a pre-World Cup friendly football match in March, the national football governing body said Wednesday.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) said the men’s national team, coached by Shin Tae-yong, will take on Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in Belfast on March 24. South Korea will then play against Poland on the road on March 27.
Northern Ireland are ranked No. 24 in the latest FIFA rankings, 36 spots above South Korea. They finished second in Group C behind top-ranked Germany in the European World Cup qualifying campaign with six wins, one draw and three losses, edging out teams like the Czech Republic and Norway to reach the playoffs.
But they lost to Switzerland in the playoff round to miss out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Managed by Michael O’Neill, Northern Ireland have many quality players who play in the English Premier League, including West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans and Chris Brunt, as well as Southampton midfielder Steven Davis.
The KFA said Northern Ireland, which play organized and powerful football, will be a good sparring partner for South Korea ahead of the World Cup. The Taeguk Warriors are in Group F at the World Cup in Russia, where they will face defending champion Germany, Latin American powerhouse Mexico and European dark horse Sweden.
This will be South Korea’s first match against Northern Ireland in any age group, and the first contest against a United Kingdom country on British soil
South Korea will open their pre-World Cup training camp in Antalya, Turkey, next week with 24 players.