Korea’s next opponent is Saudi Arabia Shin Tae-yong passes through Indonesia’s round of 16
Klinsmann’s opponent in the round of 16 of the Asian Cup has been confirmed to be Saudi Arabia, a powerhouse in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia drew 0-0 with Thailand in the third and final match of Group F of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup held at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on the 26th (Korean time).As a result, Korea’s first opponent in the round of 16, which is attempting to win the Asian Cup for the first time in 64 years, will be Saudi Arabia. While Korea finished the group stage in second place in Group E, Saudi Arabia finished first in Group F (7 points, 2 wins, 1 draw), and the two teams competed to advance to the quarterfinals. Saudi Arabia was in first place in the group just by drawing with Thailand. Saudi Arabia missed out on victory due to the bad luck of having Abdullah Radif’s penalty kick saved in the 12th minute of the first half. The round of 16 match between Korea and Saudi Arabia will be held at Al Rayyan’s Education City Stadium at 1 a.m. on the 31st. Education City Stadium is the stadium where all three group stage games were played at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, where Korea advanced to the round of 16.
Saudi Arabia ranks 56th in FIFA, 33 places lower than Korea, which ranks 23rd.However, it is a formidable opponent who has reigned as a traditional powerhouse in the Middle East .Among Middle Eastern countries, the current FIFA ranking is the second highest after Iran (21st).At the Qatar World Cup, they showed their potential with a surprising 2-1 win over eventual champion Argentina in the first match of the group stage.In particular, coach Roberto Mancini, a ‘master’ who led the Italian national team and Manchester City, a prestigious team in the English Premier League, has been leading Saudi Arabia since August of last year .Korea has a tight record against Saudi Arabia with 5 wins, 8 draws, and 5 losses. However, in the most recent friendly match held in September last year, Korea won 1-0 with a goal by Cho Gyu-seong (Midtjylland). Korea is undefeated in 5 games (2 wins, 3 draws) against Saudi Arabia, including this game. Thailand ranked 2nd in Group F (5 points, 1 win, 2 draws) and will face Uzbekistan, 2nd place in Group B, in the round of 16.
After the match between Korea and Malaysia (3-3 draw), Jürgen Klinsmann, the coach of the Korean national team, went to watch the Saudi-Thailand game to analyze his team’s strength, but the traffic was so bad that he turned away and watched the game at his hotel. Meanwhile, among the 3rd place teams in each group, the 4 teams with the best performance also advanced to the round of 16, and Indonesia, led by coach Shin Tae-yong, advanced to the round of 16 with 3rd place in Group D (9 points).Indonesia, which played its last match in the group stage the previous day, had its fate decided by the results of the match against Oman and Kyrgyzstan in Group F. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, confirming Indonesia’s 4th place out of the 3rd place teams in each group. Coach Shin, who was evaluated as a ‘lucky leader’ while leading the Korea A national team and the age-group national team, eventually helped Indonesia, which was on the verge of elimination, advance to the round of 16, proving that the good luck surrounding him also applies to the Asian stage. Coach Shin Tae-yong has successfully led Indonesia since 2020.There are only two Southeast Asian 스포츠토토존 teams, Thailand and Indonesia, who advanced to the round of 16 in this tournament.