After all of the fun of the U20 World Cup in South Korea attention shifts to the senior team. World Cup Qualification for South Korea continues on Tuesday evening (Wednesday Morning Korea Time) with an important and must win game against Qatar. South Korea travel to the middle east knowing that a win will give them a big edge heading into the final qualifiers later in the year.
AFC World Cup 2018 Qualifying Update
The Group A table so far;
Iran have already booked their place in Russia thanks to a win over Uzbekistan yesterday. South Korea sit in 2nd place, only a point ahead of Uzbekistan. Syria are 4 points behind them in 4th, with China and finally Qatar sitting at the bottom.
Syria vs. South Korea – Preview and Prediction (Tuesday June 13th 2016 at 10pm – Local Time / 4am Korea 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. Still under the leadership of German coach Uli Stielike they looked good for the most part during qualification, apart from defeats to Iran and China. Recently they played out a 0-0 draw with Iraq, and will be looking for an improved performance in the heat of Doha.
Key Player: Tottenham Hotspur Striker Son Heung-Min had a fantastic season for Tottenham and will be looking to bring some of that form into the national side.
Qatar have never qualified for the World Cup Finals (although they will play in 2022 as hosts) but made the Asian Cup Quarter Finals most recently in 2011. They sadly cannot qualify for the 2018 World Cup but could influence who does in their remaining 3 games. In recent WCQs they’ve lost to Iran and Uzbekistan by narrow 1-0 margins. They also drew with North Korea in a friendly match last week. They are a difficult side to break down and can break quickly.
Key Player: Sebastián Soria originally from Uruguay but has been playing for Qatar for over 10 years now winning over 100 caps for his adopted nation. He’s heading towards the end of his career but can still be dangerous, as shown back in October when he scored against Korea in Suwon.
These sides have played each other 9 times with the first encounter coming back in 1980 with the record looking like this;
South Korea 5
The both of Qatar’s wins come back in the early 80s. The sides haven’t played often during the last 30+ years. The last time these nations played back in October South Korea won a high scoring game 3-2.
Qatar 0 – 1 South Korea
South Korea will come into this game as favorites and will need to win the game to stay on course for a spot in the World Cup Finals. We see a narrow win and maybe a slow paced game.
Qatar vs. South Korea (World Cup 2018 Qualifier) Result & photos
Qatar 3 – 2 South Korea
A poor South Korea fell to a more lively yet already eliminated Qatar. The coaching staff will go home with a lot to think about, and with a place in Russia looking insecure.