Australian media outlets themselves give 4 ‘must-win’ reasons to “go past Korea in the quarterfinals”

‘Favorites’ South Korea and Australia will face off in the quarterfinals. With the odds stacked against either side, Australian media outlets are predicting a confident victory. Here are four reasons why.

Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea (ranked 23rd in FIFA) will face Australia (ranked 25th in FIFA) in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Qatar Asian Cup at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, on March 3 at 0:30 a.m. ET.

In the Round of 16, South Korea defeated Saudi Arabia in penalty kicks, while Australia swept Indonesia 4-0. The remaining spots went to Tajikistan-Jordan, Iran-Japan, and Qatar-Uzbekistan. South Korea, Australia, Iran, and Japan, who were considered strong ‘favorites’ to win the tournament, all reached the quarterfinals, showing the power of the traditional powers.

Football statistics outlet Opta updated its odds after the round of 16. Japan is now listed at 25.4%, Australia 20.3%, Qatar 17.9%, South Korea 16.6%, Iran 7.4%, Uzbekistan 5.2%, Jordan 4.0%, and Tajikistan 2.3%. In the quarterfinals, Australia 52.7% – South Korea 47.3%, Jordan 54.

9% – Tajikistan 45.1%, Japan 66.7% – Iran 22.0%, Qatar 62.0% – Uzbekistan 38.0%.

South Korea vs. Australia is considered the “big match” of the quarterfinals. Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald predicted a positive outcome with “four reasons why the Aussies can get past South Korea in the Asian Cup quarterfinals”. The first reason is that “the opponent will be tired. Graham Arnold’s men have the advantage of two more days of rest than South Korea, who have only two days to recover from a 120-minute grueling match. Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in have played the full time in every match so far, while Seol Young-woo, Kim Min-jae, Hwang In-beom and Lee Jae-sung are among the six players who have played more than 300 minutes. Australia, on the other hand, only has four players, and with all of their injured players back, there are no injury concerns.”

Secondly, “This match will be a ‘no-ball’ affair. Arnold has been criticized for his ineffective attack and midfield issues, and while they are still unresolved, they shouldn’t affect this game. The only time the Socceroos struggle in attack is when they face weaker teams that build deep defensive blocks. This is not the case with South Korea. South Korea had 58% possession against Saudi Arabia. With that kind of ball possession, they’ll be comfortable playing the way Australia has been successful: on the counterattack and pressing forward. All things considered, it’s a matchup that Arnold’s Socceroos can play at their best.”

Third, the “wildly unpopular South Korean coach. South Korea has built the most talented “golden generation” in the history of the national team, but there is widespread concern that it is being squandered. Many fans believe Klinsmann is not a tactical fit and are unhappy that he has spent so little time in South Korea since his appointment. There is also a view that even if they do win, it won’t be because of Klinsmann,” he said, adding that he sees Klinsmann as both a problem for Korean soccer and an advantage for the Socceroos.

“History is on Australia’s side. The Socceroos haven’t won their last two games against South Korea, but they can comfortably forget about them because they were all friendlies. When it comes to matches with real stakes, the Socceroos are very strong. In the last 23 years, they have only lost to South Korea once in a major tournament. It was in the group stages of the 2015 Asian Cup, when coach Enze Postecoglou made a rotation that proved decisive. “But then we met again in the final, where Australia won 2-1 in extra time to finish on a high note,” he recalled of the 2015 tournament.


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