The Third and Final Round of World Cup Qualification for South Korea continues on Tuesday evening with an important game against Syria. South Korea started their qualification campgain well with a win over China PR on Thursday Evening in Seoul (Details Here). Syria lost their opening game 1-0 against Uzbekistan and therefore cannot afford to lose anymore ground on the rest of the group. The game will take place at the Stadium Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Malaysia as Syria can’t host home games at the moment. Previews, Predictions and More here;
AFC World Cup 2018 Qualifying
Qualification for the 2018 World Cup started for AFC Member Countries back in March 2015 with a small knockout round featuring the lowest ranked Asian Nations. After this the big boys such as South Korea and China joined in a 2nd Round Group stage. Where the following sides progressed;
Saudi Arabia, UAE, China PR, Qatar, Australia, Japan, Iran, Syria, Thailand, Iraq, South Korea & Uzbekistan.
We have just started the third and final round of qualification with the remaining 10 sides split into 2 groups of 5, the top 2 will go to Russia with the 3rd placed sides entering a playoff. Here are the groups;
Group A: Iran, South Korea, Uzbekistan, China, Qatar & Syria.
Group B: Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq & Thailand.
And Group A table so far;
Syria vs. South Korea – Preview and Prediction (Tuesday September 6th 2016 at 9pm (Korean Time))
South Korea have a strong recent history regarding World Cup Qualification, having made the finals 8 times on the bounce now. With their best performance coming in 2002 when they reached the Semi-Finals on home soil. Now under the leadership of German coach Uli Stielike they looked strong so far during qualification, easing past the 2nd round group stage. They beat China PR last Thursday but almost let a 3 goal lead slip, winning 3-2 in the end.
Key Player: Tottenham Hotspur Striker Son Heung-Min (valued around $30million) had a mixed experience during the Olympic Games as Korea crashed out in the quarter finals. However for the full national side he’s the key danger man. He’s scored 6 goals during qualification and looked influential against China.
Syria have never qualified for the World Cup Finals but have progressed to the Asian Cup Finals most recently in 2011. During this qualification campaign they finished runners-up in their group only behind Japan, and they won 6 games against the rest of the group; Singapore, Afghanistan and Cambodia.
Key Player: Abdelrazaq Al Hussain is the most experienced member of the Syrian squad with 54 caps and 12 goals. He could be a key player in the middle of the park and could cause problems for Korea going forward or at the back.
These sides have played each other 6 times with the first encounter coming back in 1978 with the record looking like this;
South Korea 3
The single win for Syria way back in 1984 during the Asian Cup. The last time these sides played Korea won 1-0 with Ji Dong-Won scoring the winning goal, it was a friendly match played in the UAE back in December 2010.
They have never played each other before in a World Cup Qualifier.
Syria 0 – 2 South Korea
South Korea will come into this game as firm favorites, Syria are maybe the weakest side in the group and therefore have little to lose and a lot to gain. We see Korea edging it by scoring a couple of early goals and then sitting back.
Syria vs. South Korea (World Cup 2018 Qualifier) Result & photos
Syria 0 – 0 South Korea
A dull game which featured no real quality and a disappointing amount of time wasting towards the end. Syria will be happy with the point, South Korea have to do better in the future in order to qualify.