Socceroos Shooting for top Spot Against Korea Republic
January 15, 2015
The Socceroos are soaring in the Asian Cup and will be out to top the table in their final group match. But Australia’s likely to face its toughest test so far when it takes on an unbeaten Korean side who also harbour ambitions of winning the group. Korea Republic will require all 3 points to earn first position while a win or draw will be good enough for the host nation to take top spot thanks to their superior goal difference.
Korea Republic Ready to Face Tough Test
Along with Australia, Korea Republic were the first side to qualify for the knockout stages after 2 victories from their opening 2 matches. The Koreans began their campaign a 1 nil triumph over Oman in Canberra, with Cho Young-cheol scoring the only goal of the game in first half injury time. They then defeated Kuwait by the same score-line after Nam Tae-hee netted in the opening half. Having registered 2 clean sheets and yet to concede in 3 hours of football ‘The Reds’ have shown their steely determination in defence and won’t make it easy for the Socceroos to continue their scoring spree.
Goals Giving Australia Confidence and Belief
Goals didn’t come easy for the Socceroos last year with Australia scoring just 12 times in 11 outings. However if the side’s New Year’s resolution was to rack up more goals than they’re certainly delivering on that promise. 8 goals from their opening 2 games has entertained the crowd and bolstered the Aussie confidence in the box. Furthermore Tim Cahill’s only scored once. That’s right 7 other players have found the target already in the competition, when you compare that to 2014 where only 3 Australians managed to find the back of the net. Forwards, midfielders, starters and substitutes have all tucked away their opportunities and the men in Green and Gold will be hoping for much of the same in their next fixture.
Who to look out for
Bayern Leverkusen teammates Robbie Kruse and Son Heung-min are likely to be key players for their respective sides. Korea’s player of the year for the past 2 years pull the strings in attack and he’ll be aiming to feed his forwards good ball up front. Kruse capitalised on a perfect pass to score against Oman and caused chaos with his pace and speed through the middle and out wide. The Koreans will need to limit his space and time on the ball.
Tim Cahill will likely Captain Australia again with Mile Jedinak set to miss again, in an effort to be fully fit for the quarter finals after he injured his ankle in the opening match. It seems strange that Australia’s greatest goalscorer didn’t add to his tally in the Socceroos rout against Oman and Saturday’s opponents will be wary that the striker will feel he’s due. As always the 35 year old will be a threat from set pieces but if the Koreans over compensate on Cahill Australia’s other aerial threats will exploit their freedom.
Slow starts have been a cause of concern for the Socceroos with Kuwait opening the scoring in Australia’s first game and Oman might have done the same but for a brilliant save by Matt Ryan. Korea Republic will be hoping a fast beginning can not only catch the Aussies out but also silence the stadium. While the two squads already have an eye on the next phase of the tournament both are expected to field strong teams in an attempt to avoid the winners of group B in the quarter finals. What will happen in this fascinating finale?