Last 16 would be sweet for Park

South Korea v Greece: Today, 12.30pm, ITV1

The South Korea captain, Park Ji-sung, is determined he will not be heading back to Manchester from South Africa after the group stage.

Only once in their World Cup history have the South Koreans made it to the last 16, and that was when they co-hosted the tournament with neighbours Japan back in 2002.

Park, the Manchester United player, will lead his country into their opening Group B battle with Greece at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth today knowing an improvement on that record will be a big ask with Argentina and Nigeria in their group. However, that is exactly the midfielder's aim as he and his team-mates attempt to rekindle memories of eight years ago. "We hope it will be the first round of 16 we will have reached away from Korea," he said. "My objective for this World Cup is that round of 16. I am not thinking of anything else but that."

In the short term, however, Park's focus will be purely on the task of getting the campaign off to a winning start, and he is not allowing anything to interfere with his own personal preparation. "I don't think about the past. We have to look forward and what is most important for the team is to find a way to win against Greece," he said.

Like United's Park, Park Chu-young of Monaco, Celtic's Ki Sung-yueng, Bolton midfielder Lee Chung-yong and striker Lee Dong-gook, who had a spell at Middlesbrough earlier in his career, have experience of European football, and that could be vital against Otto Rehhagel's men.

Greeks depleted at the back

Greece's chances won't be helped by news that centre-back Vangelis Moras will miss the match despite having recovered from a groin injury. Moras had been receiving daily physiotherapy to try to overcome the injury. Tests on Wednesday showed he was fully recovered, but he said it was too early for a World Cup match. "I don't want to risk it," he said. "I want to be fit for Nigeria."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence