South Korea aim to defeat Australia in Asian Cup
Canberra, Jan 16 (IANS) South Korea coach Uli Stielike Friday expressed his team's desire to beat hosts Australia in the last group match Saturday to avoid a quarter-final match-up with China in the Asian Cup football tournament.
"We have to do everything for the victory against Australia," Stielike was cited by Xinhua as saying.
If South Korea beat Australia, they would avoid an early meeting with China, who have been tagged as the "dark horse" of the tournament and would face either Saudi Arabia or Uzbekistan, both of whom lost to China in group matches.
Two 1-0 victories in the first two rounds of the group stage have already ensured South Korea a place in the quarter-finals. The winners in the last round match will decide the leaders of the group.
"We have to win to be first. A draw is good enough for Australia. But if you beat Australia at home, it will give you the conviction that you can go far in this tournament," Stielike said.
Three key players - Koo Ja-cheol, Son Heung-min and Kim Chang-soo - were sidelined in South Korea's second group match for illness and are expected to play in the group decider.
"On Thursday, it was the first time after five days that the three players did the first training session, so we have to wait as the players consult the doctor because we cannot take any risk looking at the quarter-final," he added.