December 3, 2022

Sitting fairly atop their group with a spot on this yr’s FIFA World Cup already secured, South Korea will look to shut out the regional qualifying section on a excessive observe towards the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week.

South Korea will tackle the UAE at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday (native time), or 10:45 p.m. Tuesday (Seoul time).

It is going to be the final matchday in Group A of the ultimate Asian qualification spherical for the World Cup. South Korea at the moment lead the group with 23 factors as the one undefeated nation amongst six, having overwhelmed Iran 2-0 at residence final Thursday for his or her seventh win, towards two attracts. Iran, with 22 factors from seven wins, one draw and one loss, are in second place.

South Korean gamers and coaches greet followers at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul on March 24, 2022, after defeating Iran 2-0 within the groups’ Group A match within the closing Asian qualifying spherical for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (Yonhap)

These two international locations have lengthy locked down their spots within the large event as the highest two groups in Group A. They solely have the highest seed left to play for on Tuesday.

With Iran favored to beat Lebanon of their finale, South Korea will probably should beat the UAE to complete on high.

The UAE may have a lot at stake. With the highest two-ranked nations from Teams A and B qualifying straight for the World Cup, No. 3 seeds from the 2 teams will meet in a playoff, the winner of which can then transfer on to a different, intercontinental playoff for the ultimate shot at making the World Cup. The UAE at the moment have a one-point edge over Iraq, 9-8, in third place. Iraq will play Syria on Tuesday.

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Of their earlier assembly in November, South Korea beat the UAE 1-0, behind Hwang Hee-chan’s Thirty sixth-minute penalty. The ultimate rating wasn’t an correct reflection of how totally South Korea outplayed their opponents.

And South Korea head coach Paulo Bento has repeatedly talked about his want to win Group A, even with the purpose of qualifying for the World Cup already completed. Beating Iran for the primary time in 11 years definitely helped, and now Bento’s gamers must deal with one closing piece of enterprise.

Captain Son Heung-min scored a powerful purpose towards Iran for his fourth purpose of the ultimate qualification spherical and moved right into a five-way tie for the lead in that class.

Amongst South Korean gamers of all time, Son is tied for second with veteran ahead Lee Keun-ho with six profession targets within the closing World Cup qualifying spherical. Choi Yong-soo, former striker who’s at the moment teaching Gangwon FC within the Okay League 1, holds the document with seven targets.

And Son will as soon as once more have to hold the offensive load for a staff hit laborious by COVID-19. Three gamers had been changed earlier than the beginning of coaching camp final Monday after testing optimistic for the virus. Then three extra gamers, together with up-and-coming striker Cho Gue-sung and defender Park Min-gyu, had been contaminated with COVID-19 inside the previous seven days.

Cho has been changed by Hertha BSC ahead Lee Dong-jun. Park, who examined optimistic after arriving in Dubai on Sunday, won’t get replaced. Park had been referred to as as much as the senior nationwide staff for the primary time however will now have to attend a short time longer to make his worldwide debut.

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The Korea Soccer Affiliation mentioned all the opposite gamers had examined destructive Sunday.

Striker Hwang Ui-jo will attempt to finish his worldwide purpose scoring drought that reached 9 matches final week. Hwang has but to search out the again of the online within the closing spherical, although he nonetheless has probably the most targets amongst all South Korean gamers throughout Bento’s tenure with 13 targets in 32 appearances.

South Korea can be making their tenth consecutive look on the World Cup in November in Qatar. The draw is scheduled for Friday within the host nation.