It is not the kind of Australia I used to know. However, it is still a formidable opponent.
South Korea’s national soccer team, led by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, will play Australia in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup at Al-Zanup Stadium in Al-Wakra, Qatar, at 0:30 a.m. on the 3rd (Korea time).꽁머니환전
Korea ranks 23rd in the FIFA rankings, two places higher than Australia, which ranks 25th. However, Korea is slightly inferior to Australia in past matches with eight wins, 11 draws and nine losses.
Australia won the 2015 championship by beating Korea 2-1 in the final of the tournament in its own country. Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), the youngest player at the time, fought back tears.
He is determined to avenge himself this time. “Australia maintains a good atmosphere. It will certainly not be an easy game,” Son said. “Unexpected things always happen in soccer. I don’t want to repeat my defeat, and I will recover well and play a good game.”
Korea is considered a strong candidate to win the title at this year’s event. Son Heung-min, Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), and Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) are all in the team, which is considered the strongest ever.
In contrast, Australia is not as strong as before. No player has played in the English Premier League, the Spanish Primera Liga, the German Bundesliga, the Italian Serie and the French League 1.
Matthew Ryan of Alkmaar in the Netherlands League and Harry Souttar of the English Championship (minor league) are among the players who are worthy of the title. As a result, Australia was not mentioned as a potential winner of this championship.
However, when I open the lid, Australia is showing a formidable ascent. Through the round of 16 strongest teams at this year’s event, Australia had eight goals and one goal in four matches, showing perfect performance in both offense and defense. In particular, the team had a landslide 4-0 victory against Indonesia in the round of 16.
In response, “Opta,” a statistical media outlet, predicted that Australia would have the highest chance of winning the title at 20.4 percent, the same as Japan. Korea ranked third after them with 16.3 percent chance of winning the title.
Australia also predicted a higher probability of advancing to the semifinals. Australia predicted 54.0 percent and Korea 46.0 percent. In other words, Australia expected to beat Korea to advance to the semifinals.
This is because Korea showed poor performance in this year’s Asian Cup. Korea was disgraced by allowing six goals, the most ever in an Asian Cup, in the group stage, and won against Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 after a bloody battle leading to a penalty shootout.
Korea had nine goals in four matches of the championship, displaying strong performance. On top of that, Korea ranks first in all major offensive indicators, including possession rate (68 percent), shot on goal (6.8), successful pass per match (620), and successful cross per match (8.8).
However, the team lacked decision-making power. It also ranked first with a total of 14 chances to create goal chances, but it also ranked second with eight missed chances after Iran (nine times).
Decisive power must be revived to beat Australia, which boasts solid defense. It remains to be seen whether it will show off its hot attack against Australia, which has no big leaguer but is still considered a favorite.