After narrow defeats to Mexico and Sweden, South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong summed up his team’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 match to spare, but a triumph on Wednesday afternoon and a victory for Mexico against Sweden provides them any chance of progress.
Although South Korea have been competitive in the handle and eager to pay plenty of ground, they have really struggled to create any attacking momentum. A magnificent late strike from a largely isolated Son Heung-min against Mexico has become the sum total of their offensive efforts so far, and they did not even manage a shot on target 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 ever sequence. Additionally, it is worth noting that they have dropped their last two World Cup games against Germany, a group match in 1994 along with also the semi-final in 2002.
The cause of south Korea won’t be helped by skipper Ki Sung-yeung’s loss to injury, and Park Joo-ho that was full-back remains sidelined. Shin has to find a means to get Tottenham forwards Son more support in attack – he had eight shots against Mexico, and carried the entire offensive burden on his shoulders.
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