Now it’s a guillotine match. Scoring is a must.
The South Korean national soccer team, led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, will face Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup at Alaiyan Education City Stadium in Qatar on the 31st (Korea Standard Time).
South Korea, which played Bahrain, Jordan and Malaysia in Group E, advanced to the round of 16 as the second-ranked team in Group E with one win, two draws and five points.
The most problematic outcome was the final match of the group league against Malaysia. Korea, which sought to revive its reputation by chanting “Asia’s top leader for the first time in 64 years,” had a rough match against Malaysia, which is more than 100 spots shorter than the FIFA rankings, and only tied 3-3.
Coach Klinsmann again stepped up in a 4-4-2 formation. Cho Kyu-sung and Son Heung-min were at the forefront, while Jung Woo-young, Hwang In-beom, Lee Jae-sung and Lee Kang-in were at the center. Seol Young-woo, Kim Young-kwon, Kim Min-jae, and Kim Tae-hwan formed a four-back structure, and goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo defended the goal.
It is a lineup that has changed two to three digits from the last game, but Korea has set up the starting list with the best players. The team has already confirmed its advance to the round of 16. Coach Klinsmann wanted to make up for the 2-2 draw with Jordan in the last two rounds and sought to advance to the round of 16 for the top spot in the group.
Korea’s frustrating performance was still there.
Although they won the first round with goals from Bahrain, Hwang In-beom, and Lee Kang-in, they were shaken by giving up a run. In the subsequent Jordan match, it was hard to break through as Jordan defended the back door well. It was easily shaken by Jordan’s attack.
The match against Malaysia was even more serious. The team’s offense, consisting of Son Heung-min, the captain of Tottenham Hotspur, and Lee Kang-in, the starting member of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), was sluggish and its defense was helplessly penetrated by Malaysia’s counterattack. Only Kim Min-jae, the main defender of Bayern Munich, struggled.
As previously pointed out, the Korean team is strong enough to be called the strongest ever. In addition to the players mentioned above, there are also a number of players who have played key roles in the European team, including Hwang Hee-chan, the Wolverhampton Wanderers’ top scorer this season, Jung Woo-young, VfB Stuttgart’s No. 10, and Lee Jae-sung of FSV Mainz 05.
He is also said to have hit the heyday of Korean soccer. Along with this assessment, the atmosphere of ‘Clinsman Lake’ seems to be really good.
When conducting interviews with the national team last year, the national team players have always said, “The mood of the team is really good.” Last year, Cho Kyu-sung said, “The mood of the team is really good. Coach Klinsmann creates an atmosphere for the players,” while Kim Min-jae said, “I don’t think any coach has had a good public opinion. The outcome is made by the players. The role of the coach is important, but it is important for the players to change the mood by playing well.”
Son Heung-min, who had a press conference before the match against Singapore in the second Asian qualifying round for the North-China World Cup in November, also said, “The atmosphere is quite good. I have not been able to produce results, but my confidence has increased with good results and matches at the last call-up.”
Cho Hyun-woo, who also held a press conference ahead of the upcoming match against Malaysia, said, “The team’s atmosphere is very good. The players prepared well for the upcoming match without thinking too much about what happened in the past.”
Since Klinsmann’s inauguration, players have been expressing their good mood within the team. However, his performance at this year’s event has not been so impressive at all. In a group with three teams that are rated lower, he allowed a whopping six runs, only one win and two draws.
From the tournament, a moment of mistake can lead to elimination. Literally, it’s a guillotine match.
What is needed the most is scoring ability. Korea has allowed the most goals lost among the teams that advanced to the round of 16 by allowing six goals in their group league. While losing goals is also a loss, Korea also showed the worst scoring ability.
Korea had 23 shots in the previous match against Jordan and 18 shots in the match against Malaysia. None of them were scored in an open play situation other than a set piece. In the match against Jordan, Son Heung-min’s penalty kick and the opponent’s own goal shook the net, and in the match against Malaysia, he scored with Jung Woo-young’s header, Son’s penalty kick, and Lee Kang-in’s free kick.
Saudi Arabia is displaying “salt water defense” in this year’s event. It has given away just one goal in three group matches.
Korea recently had a showdown with Saudi Arabia. It played a friendly match at St. James’ Park in Newcastle, England on Sept. 13 last year. At the time, Korea won 1-0. 마카오카지노주소
South Korea led 18-7 in total shooting and 9-2 in effective shooting, but scored only one goal.
“Tomorrow will be a very difficult game as well, but our goal is clear. It is a victory. We believe in ourselves, and we will prepare positively to achieve our goal. We can’t guarantee it, but we will get good results. I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s game,” Klinsmann said.