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Donga - Korea’s national soccer team has traditionally overwhelmed this team with seven wins, three ties and six losses. Its Olympics team has also outperformed this team with one win and one tie. However, Korea has never won a single game against Iran in Teheran. At the Ninth Asian Games in 1974, the country lost to Iraq 2-0. In the Asian pre-tournament for World Cup Soccer 1977, it ended its Teheran match in a 2-2 draw. 

Korea and Iran won games respectively against China and Malaysia. For Korea, the final round of the qualification playoffs for the 2004 Athens Olympics scheduled for March 17, 9:30 p.m. (Korean time) in Teheran is the largest hurdle standing in the way of its fifth consecutive Olympic ticket. 

Lee Chun-soo, the Real Sociedad player famous for his fast feet, now joins the Korean team. Mayeli Kohan, who humiliated the Korean national team in a 6-2 victory in the Asian Cup in 1996, leads the Iranians. 

As an injury prevents Park Ji-sung, Eindhoven’s game breaker, from playing, Now all eyes are on Lee. 

Lee did not play in the second round of the European Championship and in the latest two games of the Spanish league, but his physical and mental status are excellent. “I can play an entire 90-minute game. And I am ready to play a role in midfield defense,” said a self-confident Lee. 

Whether to use Lee as a game breaker or to deploy him on the wing depends entirely on the tactics head coach Kim Ho-kon employs. At the forefront will be Choi Sung-kuk (Ulsan) and Jae-jin Cho (Suwon), two tops in a 3-4-1-2 formation. Lee will switch back and forth between defense and offense to enliven team coordination. Choi and Cho, both with fast feet, will penetrate the Iranian defense line and make scores. 

Alternatively, Lee will be deployed on the left wing, so he can form a triangle formation with Choi and Cho to outflank the Iranian defense. Kim Young-kwang, of Chunnam, will be the goalie, and Cho Byung-kuk of Suwon will lead the defense. 

The Iranian players the Korean should mount a defense against are Moharam Navidkia and Iman Mobeli., who are among the 13 on the Iranian roster who played in the 2002 Busan Asian Games in which they won the gold medal.

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