After narrow defeats to Mexico and Sweden, South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong summed up his group’s situation , describing them as”a drowning man clutching at a straw.” The late heroics of Germany’s Toni Kroos against Sweden spared Shin’s side the ignominy of elimination using a game to spare, but only a win on Wednesday afternoon and a success for Mexico against Sweden gives them any chance of progress.
Although South Korea are aggressive in the tackle and willing to cover lots of ground, they have struggled to develop any attacking momentum. A magnificent late strike from a mostly isolated Son Heung-min against Mexico has become the sum total of the offensive efforts up to now, and they didn’t even manage a shot on goal in their Group F opener from Sweden.
Opta tell us that South Korea have lost their past four matches at World Cup finals, equalling their worst sequence. It’s also worth noting that they have dropped their past two World Cup games against Germany, a set game in 1994 and the semi-final in 2002.
South Korea’s cause will not be helped by the loss of skipper Ki Sung-yeung to harm, and Park Joo-ho that was full-back is still sidelined. Shin has to find a way to get Tottenham forward Son more assistance in assault – he had eight shots against Mexico, and carried the whole offensive weight on his shoulders.
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