The Korean national team is aiming to advance to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup. The venue is Education City Stadium, which made a miracle in the World Cup. However, Saudi Arabia has played more games than Korea in this stadium, but has never won a match.
The South Korean national team, led by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, will play against the Saudi Arabian national team in the round of 16 of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup at Alaian Education City Stadium in Qatar at 1 a.m. on the 31st (Korea time).
The Korean national team was evaluated as the strongest ever even before the tournament. There were Son Heung-min, the “captain” who emerged as a top-class striker in the Premier League at Tottenham, and Hwang Hee-chan, who is running a career high this season at Wolverhampton.
The midfielders were also Lee Jae-sung (Mintz), Hwang In-beom (Turbena Zvezda), and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who showed competitiveness in Europe, and there is “monster” Kim Min-jae from Bayern Munich, a team that competes for the UEFA Champions League.
He has won six consecutive games in seven consecutive games without allowing any points until just before the Asian Cup finals, with two points per game (three games and six points) in the group stage. The strikers, where Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in are holding out, scored eight goals but showed laxity in the back door.
It is a duel of a spear and a shield. If the Korean team scores four goals if it scores three, the Saudi Arabian team plays a game of one goal against a solid defense. During the eight matches from the World Cup qualifying round in November to the Asian Cup finals, the team allowed only one goal. In the three group matches of the Asian Cup, the team advanced to the round of 16 strongest teams by being undefeated against Oman (2-1 win), Kyrgyzstan (2-0 win), and Thailand (0-0 draw).
More than 30,000 Saudi Arabian spectators will flock to Qatar as it is a neighboring country. Major lodging facilities in Qatar were also out of stock early on with Saudi Arabian fans flocking to the round of 16 teams. “It looks like 30,000 Saudi fans will gather at the stadium. From now on, we have to play as if it is a final.”
What’s interesting is that it’s entirely at Education City Stadium. With a total of 44,667 people, it opened in June 2020.
South Korea held all the group stages of the 2022 Qatar World Cup here, recording one win, one draw and one loss. This is the place where Hwang Hee-chan scored a goal and roared against Portugal, one of the big European teams, to secure a real chance of advancing to the round of 16.
In contrast, it is a nightmare for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia played four matches from the FIFA Arab Cup to the Asian Cup. However, the country failed to win all four matches. Out of the four matches, only one goal is scored. Saudi Arabia’s 30,000 spectators are gathering at Education City Stadium, but the stadium’s performance is not very good. 마카오토토도메인
Veteran national team defender Kim Young-kwon also remembered the joy at Education City Stadium. Reflecting on the equalizer that laid the foundation for the come-from-behind victory in the World Cup, he vowed that “I have good memories here. I had a good game at a good stadium. The coaches and players are different from then, but I will do my best to win at Education City Stadium with good memories.”