Korea Braces for Crucial Match Against Iran

  • By Seok Nam-jun, Joo Hyung-sik

    August 31, 2017 11:11

    Korea is set to face Iran in Seoul on Thursday in the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    Iranian manager Carlos Queiroz is resolved to do all he can to maintain Iran's unbeaten streak in the final round. Iran has already secured a spot for the World Cup.

    "We will beat Iran no matter what and advance to the World Cup," Korean manager Shin Tae-yong said on Wednesday.

    Shin Tae-yong (left) and Carlos Queiroz

    Grouped with China, Iran, Qatar, Syria and Uzbekistan, Korea is currently in second place with 13 points from four wins, one draw, and three losses, just one point ahead of Uzbekistan. On the other hand, Iran has 18 points from six wins and two draws and has not surrendered a single goal in all eight matches of the final round so far.

    Iran has been a long-standing rival of Korea, with 29 matches between the two since the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo. Overall, Iran has outperformed with 13 wins, seven draws and nine losses. However, Korea has made the World Cup nine times, compared to Iran's four appearances.

    Although away teams usually arrive two or three days before the match, Iran arrived in Korea about a week ahead to ensure that its players can be in their best form.

    Under the leadership of Queiroz since April 2011, Iran has 46 wins, 20 draws, and eight losses in 74 matches, making it the highest ranked Asian team by FIFA at 24th place. Korea is in 49th place.

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