[Asian Cup] After hard-fought win, Korea to face well-rested Socceroos in quarterfinals

Posted on : 2024-02-01 18:08 KST Modified on : 2024-02-01 18:08 KST
The tight schedule leaves Korea with two days of rest compared to four for Australia
Jürgen Klinsmann, coach of the Korean national football team. (Yonhap)
Jürgen Klinsmann, coach of the Korean national football team. (Yonhap)

Now the quarterfinals.

The South Korean national football team will be taking on Australia in the AFC Asian Cup this weekend, having captured a dramatic shootout win against Saudi Arabia. 

Coming at 12:30 am on Saturday in Korea, the schedule means that local fans will be able to watch it live.

But South Korea and Australia are in very different situations as they prepare to enter the pitch.

Australia has been able to prepare for the quarterfinals at its leisure after briskly brushing Indonesia aside 4-0 two days earlier. In contrast, South Korea went into extra time with an intense 120-minute battle against Saudi Arabia.

This means that while Australia had four days to rest, South Korea will have just two before it has to compete again. Not only that, but Australia is physically the strongest of the teams competing in the event.

After the match against Saudi Arabia, the South Korean team’s coach Jürgen Klinsmann said this was the price paid for not finishing first in the group.

When asked about how South Korea plans to deal with the physical matchup, he sounded an optimistic note, commenting that there was still some time left to make the difference.

He added that the win over Saudi Arabia could provide the team with some positive energy, adding that he was thrilled to be working with the athletes.

When asked if he thought the two-day difference in rest would be a problem going into the quarterfinals, Klinnsman said he wasn’t upset about it.

“Some people said I was happy not to win the group so to [not] face Japan, but I said I want to win the group and face whoever because of recovery days,” he told reporters, reiterating his explanation on what’s become a highly sensitive topic. 

When asked whether saw Korea pulling out a win in the upcoming game, the coach said that he had “never promised” a victory, saying that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to the game of football but that the had merely meant he had gone into the tournament with the goal of coming out on top. 

Klinnsman reiterated that based on the Korean team’s abilities, strengths and teamwork, he believes they can win the day. 

By Kim Dong-hoon, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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