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Red Devils add some color to bronze-medal match

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2002

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- The usual blues of the World Cup third-place game will be pepped up with red as South Korea plays Turkey on Saturday.

Losing in the semis is a downer, but a World Cup full of upsets gives the third-place match a different perspective.

Co-host South Korea got something positive from its 1-0 semifinal loss to Germany -- a chance to bow out a winner at home. South Korea wound up with the third-place game in Daegu as part of a series of tradeoffs with the other host, Japan. Yokohama is site of the championship game on Sunday between Germany and Brazil.

South Korea held the opening game May 31 and also had its name first on FIFA's official advertising: the Korea-Japan World Cup.

Guus Hiddink's squad gained millions of fans during its unlikely charge to the semifinals and will use Saturday's game to bid farewell to legions of flag-waving, chanting ''Red Devils'' supporters.

Turkey's colors are also red and white, so its small band of fans is likely to be vocal, but nearly invisible.

South Korea, 0-10-4 in five previous World Cup campaigns, is 4-1-1 on home soil this time.

It's likely to be Hiddink's last game in charge and, regardless of the outcome, he'll be sent out a hero.

''We were disappointed to lose the semifinal,'' he said, even if reaching the last four ''was very unrealistic and very unexpected four, five weeks ago.''

He added that victories over Portugal, Italy and Spain proved the South Koreans were capable of beating anyone.

Hiddink was fine-tuning his squad Thursday at the ancient Korean capital of Gyeonju. The Turks also had unexpected success in their first trip to the World Cup since 1954, and were unbeaten -- except against Brazil. A Ronaldo burst in the 49th minute gave Brazil the only goal in Wednesday's semifinal at Saitama, Japan. Four-time champion Brazil beat Turkey 2-1 in the first round, as well.

Coach Senol Gunes said his Turkish squad succeeded in ''making an impact.''

''Being one of the teams in the semifinal is still a good thing,'' Gunes said. ''Maybe we will get to the final next time. For now we have another match against South Korea and we could still finish as the third-best team in the world.''

The Turkish squad arrived Thursday at Daegu and wasn't planning to practice until the eve of the game. At the last three World Cups, the team that lost the third-place playoff failed to qualify four years later.

Hiddink led the Netherlands to the semis in France four years ago, where a loss to Brazil on penalty kicks knocked the wind out of the Dutch team.

Croatia lost to eventual champion France in the other semifinal and returned to beat the Dutch for third place, with Davor Suker scoring his sixth goal to seal the Golden Boot.

Hiddink quit as coach and the Netherlands didn't make it through European qualifying for a trip to Asia.

In 1994, Sweden beat Bulgaria 4-0 for third place. The Bulgarians, who finished with back-to-back losses after upsetting defending champion West Germany in the quarterfinals, haven't been back since.

England lost to Italy in the third-place playoff in Italy in 1990 and then failed to qualify for USA '94.

Germany remains the only nation to win the bronze medal and World Cup in consecutive tournaments. The Germans edged Uruguay 2-1 for bronze in 1970 and then won at home four years later.

Besides the passionate support of its fans, the Koreans have history in their favor. Six host nations have won the World Cup at home, while hosts have won the third-place playoff twice. Chile took bronze in 1962 and Italy edged England 2-1 for third place in 1990.

BYLINE1:BY JOHN PYE

BYLINE2:AP Sports Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- The usual blues of the World Cup third-place game will be pepped up with red as South Korea plays Turkey on Saturday.

Losing in the semis is a downer, but a World Cup full of upsets gives the third-place match a different perspective.

Co-host South Korea got something positive from its 1-0 semifinal loss to Germany -- a chance to bow out a winner at home. South Korea wound up with the third-place game in Daegu as part of a series of tradeoffs with the other host, Japan. Yokohama is site of the championship game on Sunday between Germany and Brazil.

South Korea held the opening game May 31 and also had its name first on FIFA's official advertising: the Korea-Japan World Cup.

Guus Hiddink's squad gained millions of fans during its unlikely charge to the semifinals and will use Saturday's game to bid farewell to legions of flag-waving, chanting ''Red Devils'' supporters.

Turkey's colors are also red and white, so its small band of fans is likely to be vocal, but nearly invisible.

South Korea, 0-10-4 in five previous World Cup campaigns, is 4-1-1 on home soil this time.

It's likely to be Hiddink's last game in charge and, regardless of the outcome, he'll be sent out a hero.

''We were disappointed to lose the semifinal,'' he said, even if reaching the last four ''was very unrealistic and very unexpected four, five weeks ago.''

He added that victories over Portugal, Italy and Spain proved the South Koreans were capable of beating anyone.

Hiddink was fine-tuning his squad Thursday at the ancient Korean capital of Gyeonju. The Turks also had unexpected success in their first trip to the World Cup since 1954, and were unbeaten -- except against Brazil. A Ronaldo burst in the 49th minute gave Brazil the only goal in Wednesday's semifinal at Saitama, Japan. Four-time champion Brazil beat Turkey 2-1 in the first round, as well.

Coach Senol Gunes said his Turkish squad succeeded in ''making an impact.''

''Being one of the teams in the semifinal is still a good thing,'' Gunes said. ''Maybe we will get to the final next time. For now we have another match against South Korea and we could still finish as the third-best team in the world.''

The Turkish squad arrived Thursday at Daegu and wasn't planning to practice until the eve of the game. At the last three World Cups, the team that lost the third-place playoff failed to qualify four years later.

Hiddink led the Netherlands to the semis in France four years ago, where a loss to Brazil on penalty kicks knocked the wind out of the Dutch team.

Croatia lost to eventual champion France in the other semifinal and returned to beat the Dutch for third place, with Davor Suker scoring his sixth goal to seal the Golden Boot.

Hiddink quit as coach and the Netherlands didn't make it through European qualifying for a trip to Asia.

In 1994, Sweden beat Bulgaria 4-0 for third place. The Bulgarians, who finished with back-to-back losses after upsetting defending champion West Germany in the quarterfinals, haven't been back since.

England lost to Italy in the third-place playoff in Italy in 1990 and then failed to qualify for USA '94.

Germany remains the only nation to win the bronze medal and World Cup in consecutive tournaments. The Germans edged Uruguay 2-1 for bronze in 1970 and then won at home four years later.

Besides the passionate support of its fans, the Koreans have history in their favor. Six host nations have won the World Cup at home, while hosts have won the third-place playoff twice. Chile took bronze in 1962 and Italy edged England 2-1 for third place in 1990.



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