Klin’s Man-ho, who is aiming for the ‘Winning in 64 Years’, who is the opponent for the tournament?
The road map for the Korean national soccer team led by Jürgen Klinsmann (Germany) has come out. The detailed journey to the Asian Cup championship for the first time in 64 years has begun in earnest.
South Korea will play Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup at 1 a.m. on the 31st at Education City Stadium in Alayyan, Qatar.
Klinsmann finished second in Group E.
The team won 3-1 in its first match against Bahrain on the 15th, but tied 2-2 in its second match against Jordan on the 20th. In the last match against Malaysia on the 25th, it ended up in a 3-3 draw, advancing to the round of 16 with one win and two draws (five points).
Through this event, Korea aims to win its first championship in 64 years since the second event in 1960. Although the group stage was rather difficult to pass, its goal has not changed.
After confirming the round of 16 in the second place of the group, coach Klinsmann said, “Of course, it is possible to win,” showing confidence despite his sluggish performance.
It is not bad in terms of the results. Apart from the final performance or performance below expectations, the team advanced to the round of 16 as the second-ranked team in its group, avoiding the worst case scenario.
If Korea moves up to the top in the group, it will meet Japan, which ranks second in Group D. As the team is a tougher opponent than anyone else, avoiding it if possible is advantageous in seeking the championship.
If Korea defeated Japan and advanced to the quarterfinals, it was highly likely that Korea would meet Iran, which was particularly weak, but it could avoid Iran until the final.
Saudi Arabia, which will rank second in its group and meet in the round of 16 teams, is also not an easy match. Italian coach Robert Mancini is leading the team, and as it is geographically close to Qatar, Korea is highly likely to play in Saudi Arabia’s home atmosphere.
If they beat Saudi Arabia, they will meet the winner of the Indonesia match led by Australia and head coach Shin Tae-yong.
Coach Shin led Indonesia to the round of 16 at the Asian Cup for the first time in history with his unique leadership, but he is far from Australia. Compared to Australia, which plays soccer using overwhelming physical conditions, Indonesia is weak in power.
During the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia, South Korea met Australia in the final and lost 1-2, finishing second.
Having conceded the first goal at the end of the first half, Korea was looming to lose as it failed to score, but Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) scored a goal in extra time in the second half to lead the game to extra time. However, the team was defeated by conceding the winning goal in the 15th minute of extra time in the first half.
The coach who led Australia to collapse Korea at that time is Enze Postecoglou, who led Tottenham in the English Professional Football Premier League (EPL) and formed a priestly relationship with Son Heung-min.
If the winner of the match between Australia and Indonesia is defeated, the team will advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, the winner of the Tajikistan-United Arab Emirates (UAE) match and the Iraq-Jordan match will meet the winner of the quarterfinals.
In terms of power, UAE or Iraq, led by former Korean coach Paulo Bento, are likely to face each other in the quarterfinals. If South Korea reaches the semifinals safely, it will meet the winner of the match.
Given FIFA rankings and objective records, the teams are not very threatening to South Korea. However, knowing Korean soccer better than anyone else is a weakness of the team, as Bento, who is in charge of the UAE, led South Korea right up until right before.
By playing with good physical conditions and fast speed, Iraq has been bullying its opponents in the group league. Notably, it has been showing good performance in this year’s event by garnering a 2-1 victory in its second group match against Japan.
If they win another semi-final, they will reach the long-awaited final. Japan, Iran, and Qatar are likely to reach the last match.
Japan showed below-expected performance in the group stage, but recovered to some extent in the last match against Indonesia. Due to the nature of the tournament, it is expected to show a trend like a strong team as the game goes on. 꽁머니환전
Iran boasts destructive performance based on top two European players including Sardar Azmoun (AS Rome) and Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto). As a Middle Eastern country, Iran can play with support from many fans.
Qatar is also threatening. The team is good at attacking the opponent’s back space by banking on its fast striker Akram Afif.