South Korea host their final World Cup 2018 Qualifier on Tuesday Evening against tricky Central Asian opposition in Uzbekistan. Currently Uzbekistan are narrowly ahead of Korea in the AFC Group A table so a defeat could be awful. The game will take place at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, with a healthy crowd expected. Previews, Predictions and More here;
South Korea vs. Uzbekistan – Preview and Prediction (Tuesday November 15th 2016 at 8pm – Local Time)
Firstly here is a quick look at the AFC Group A table;
After 4 games each the table is starting to split into 2 halves. With Iran, Uzbekistan and South Korea at the top and Syria, Qatar and China PR at the bottom. Iran lead the way and have victories over both Uzbekistan and South Korea. Korea are currently 2 points behind Uzbekistan so a defeat would widen the gap to 5 points.
The other games on Tuesday are; Syria (4th) vs. Iran (1st) and China PR (6th) vs. Qatar (5th).
Here our are brief previews for both sides, South Korea vs. Uzbekistan Previews;
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 inconsistent so far during qualification, easing past the 2nd round group stage. But during the 3rd round they’ve dropped points against Syria and Iran. They beat Canada in a friendly on Friday, however it was a weaken Korea side.
Key Player: Tottenham Hotspur Striker Son Heung-Min (valued around $30million) has had a wonderful start to the Premier League Season scoring 4 goals in 5 league games, as well as scoring during the Europa League. He’s scored 7 goals so far during world cup qualification, including the winner against Qatar. He was rested against Canada.
Uzbekistan have a relatively short international footballing history only playing their first game in 1992. They’ve never qualified for the World Cup before, but have made the Asian Cup Finals 7 times (their best finish was 4th). They had an almost perfect AFC 2nd Round of qualifying only losing once against North Korea in their first group game. They also played and beat Bahrain, Yemen and the Philippines in a tricky group. During this 3rd round they’ve only dropped points to Iran, beating China, Syria and Qatar in their other games. They also beat Jordan in a friendly game last Thursday.
Key Player: 23 year old Beijing Guoan forward Igor Sergeev is a real danger moving forward, with captain Server Djeparov bring a wealth of experience to the Midfield. He of course formerly played for FC Seoul and other K League Classic sides.
These sides have played each other 13 times before with the first encounter coming back in 1994 Asian Games with the record looking like this;
South Korea 9
The first game was won by Uzbekistan during the 1994 Asian Games, however since then Korea have won 9 times. The last game ended 1-1 an international friendly in March 2015.
One final head-to-head style fact; Uzbekistan played and lost to Canada in June (2-1), whilst South Korea beat them last week (2-0).
South Korea 2 – 1 Uzbekistan
Korea have a great record against Uzbekistan and we see them narrowly winning this. The friendly last week ironed out a few issues and therefore we see Korea scoring early on and then against midway into the 2nd half. Uzbekistan will grab a goal, but not two.
South Korea vs. Uzbekistan (World Cup Qualifier) Result & photos
South Korea 2 – 1 Uzbekistan
South Korea came from behind to win a vital 3 points against Uzbekistan. An error at the back combined with a great finish gave Uzbekistan an early lead. However during the second half South Korea piled on the pressure and scored twice.