After narrow defeats to Mexico and Sweden, South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong summed up his group’s situation neatly, 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 with a game to spare, but a win on Wednesday afternoon and also a victory for Mexico against Sweden gives them any prospect of advancement.
Although South Korea have been aggressive in the tackle and eager to pay lots of ground, they have struggled to develop any attacking momentum. A stunning late strike from a mostly isolated Son Heung-min against Mexico has become the sum total of the offensive efforts so far, and they did not even manage a shot on target in their Group F opener from Sweden.
Opta inform us that South Korea have lost their past four games at World Cup finals. It’s also worth noting they have lost their past two World Cup games from Germany, a group match in 1994 along with the semi-final in 2002.
The cause of south Korea won’t be helped by skipper Ki Sung-yeung’s loss to harm, and Park Joo-ho is still sidelined. Shin must find a means to get Tottenham forwards Son more assistance in assault – he had eight shots against Mexico, and carried the entire offensive weight on his shoulders.