Will Weather Favor Korea in Crunch Match Against Belgium?

The weather in São Paulo, where Korea will face Belgium in the final match of the group stage in the World Cup on Thursday or early Friday morning here will be similar to Korea's early autumn. The average high in June is 24 degrees Celsius, and the morning low 10.5 degrees.

That is cooler than Cuiabá, where Korea played against Russia, and warmer than Porto Alegre where it faced Algeria. It is less humid than Cuiaba.

Local weather forecasters predict that the weather will be slightly cloudy, with the daytime high reaching 28 degrees and the morning low dropping to 15 degrees. The match kicks off at 5 p.m. on Thursday local time, so the temperature will have cooled pleasantly.

Koreas national team manger Hong Myung-bo (left) and Belgiums head coach Marc Wilmots answer reporters questions the day before the group H World Cup soccer match between Korea and Belgium at a stadium in São Paulo, Brazil on Wednesday. Korea's national team manger Hong Myung-bo (left) and Belgium's head coach Marc Wilmots answer reporters' questions the day before the group H World Cup soccer match between Korea and Belgium at a stadium in São Paulo, Brazil on Wednesday.

But the burden of playing at high altitude remains. The air is thinner, so breathing becomes harder and people tire more easily. The stadium in the São Paulo is 800 m above sea level, compared to Cuiabá at 165 m and Porto Alegre at 10 m.

São Paulo is home to the biggest Korean community in Brazil with over 50,000 Korean immigrants, 98 percent of the total Korean population in Brazil. The Korea Football Association predicts over 20,000 Koreans will visit the stadium to support the Korean players. That would be 10 times more than in Cuiabá and Porto Alegre.

Australian Benjamin Williams, considered a mild-tempered referee, was assigned for the Korea-Belgium match. His fellow Australian Matthew Cream and Hakan Anaz will be assistant referees.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 26, 2014 12:55 KST