’59년만의 우승’ 도전…2019 아시안컵, 필리핀 상대로 시작
Despite being one of the top teams in Asia,… South Korea’s national football team has not won the continental title — the Asian Cup — in almost six decades.
However,… with the squad looking sharper than they have in years under an impressive new head coach,… they’ll be looking to rectify that over the coming weeks in the UAE.
First up for the Taeguk Warriors is the Philippines.
Lee Seung-jae reports.
The last time South Korea won the Asian Cup was all the way back in 1960,… when South Korea hosted a four-team tournament,… and won all three matches for their second Asian Cup title.
Since then,… South Korea has fallen short every time,… but they’re aiming to grab the elusive title in the UAE this year.
The squad begin their journey against the Philippines on Monday night in a Group C match at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
The game kicks off at 10:30PM, Korea time.
South Korea are the favorites to top Group C with the other teams being China and Kyrgyzstan.
The Taeguk Warriors are ranked 53rd in the latest FIFA rankings,… fourth highest among AFC members.
Despite South Korea being one of the favorites to raise the trophy,… it won’t be easy as the competition is bigger than ever,… expanding from a 16-team to 24-team format this year.
And for South Korea’s Portuguese head coach Paulo Bento,… the tournament is his first big challenge since taking the reins in August.
Bento will be without star forward Son Heung-min for the first match,… as the Tottenham Hotspur striker is set to join up with the squad after January 13th.
Despite Son’s absence against the Philippines,… South Korea will have enough firepower up front,… as Hwang Ui-jo, the 2018 KFA Player of the Year and the top scorer at last year’s Asian Games will be the main striker.
The late addition of up-and-coming star Lee Seung-woo should also boost South Korea’s chances of grabbing their third Asian Cup title.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.
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