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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory