The AFC U23 Championships is reaching the end of the group stages with things still very tight in Group D. South Korea U23 take on Australia U23 who suffered a shock defeat to Vietnam at the weekend. Squads, Preview and Prediction below;
Squads for South Korea U23 v Australia U23
Before we start here are the squads for both South Korea & Australia;
The South Korea squad is mainly domestically based with only 2 players playing overseas. 2 of the squad are University players with the rest in the K League Classic or Challenge. 2017 K League Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai provide 3 players.
There’s a wide mix of players in the Australia squad, with played based at home but also a number in Europe. George Blackwood was the main target in the first game, but he wasn’t as active in the 2nd.
AFC U23 Championship Group D Table
As you can see the table is very tight and the tie-breakers are based mainly on head-to-head record. Therefore South Korea only need a point in order to progress. Australia might progress with a draw if Syria beat Vietnam, other wise they’ll need a win.
Preview & Prediction for South Korea U23 v Australia U23
2018 AFC U-23 Championship – Group Stage
Kick Off: 8.30pm Wednesday January 17th
South Korea U23 v Australia U23
As already mentioned Korea only need a point to progress and therefore we see them playing depth and looking to break. Australia looked good in their opening game but couldn’t break down Vietnam on Sunday. We see them also taking things slow to start with and trying to find their groove before half time.
Overall it will be close with half an eye on the Vietnam v Syria game. We see Korea winning scoring early in the 2nd half and weathering the storm until the end.
Prediction: South Korea U23 1-0 Australia U23
Result & Highlights
South Korea U23 3-2 Australia U23
The win means that Korea progress as group winners, whilst Australia are going home finishing 3rd in the group.
Korea will play Malaysia U23 on Saturday afternoon.
All of the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship games (at least the games with South Korea) will be shown on JTBC3 & Naver Sports.