Klinsmann’s Asian Cup round of 16 opponent has been confirmed as Middle Eastern powerhouse Saudi Arabia. The Saudis drew 0-0 with Thailand in their final Group F match at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Qatar Asian Cup at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Saturday (June 26).The result sets up Saudi Arabia as the first opponent in the round of 16 tournament for the Koreans, who are looking to win their first Asian Cup in 64 years. With South Korea finishing second in Group E and Saudi Arabia topping Group F (7-2 W, 1 D), the two teams will battle it out for a spot in the quarterfinals .The Saudis needed only a draw with Thailand to top the group. The Saudis were unlucky to miss out on victory when Abdullah Radif’s penalty kick in the 12th minute was saved.
The round of 16 match between South Korea and Saudi Arabia will take place at 1 a.m. on Jan. 31 at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, the same stadium where South Korea played all three of their group games at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where they reached the round of 16 .Saudi Arabia is ranked 56th by Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), 33 spots lower than South Korea at 23rd.However, it is a formidable opponent that has been a traditional powerhouse in the Middle East. It currently has the second-highest FIFA ranking of any Middle Eastern country, behind Iran (21st).At the World Cup in Qatar, they showed their mettle with a 2-1 upset win over eventual champions Argentina in their first group game .Notably, Roberto Mancini, the “mastermind” behind the Italian national team and English Premier League powerhouse Manchester City, has been coaching Saudi Arabia since August last year .South Korea is evenly matched against Saudi Arabia in the all-time series with five wins, eight draws, and five losses.
In their most recent meeting, an exhibition match in September last year, South Korea won 1-0 with a goal from Cho Kyu-sung (Meatwillan).South Korea is unbeaten in five matches against Saudi Arabia (2 wins, 3 draws), including this one. Thailand finished second in Group F (5-1 W, 2 D) and will host Group B runner-up Uzbekistan in the Round of 16.South Korea head coach Jürgen Klinsmann traveled to watch the Saudi Arabia-Thailand game after the South Korea-Malaysia (3-3 draw) to analyze formations, but was forced to turn back due to heavy traffic and watched the game from his hotel .Meanwhile, the four best performing teams from each group also advanced to the round of 16, with Shin Tae-yong’s Indonesia finishing third in Group D (9 points).
Having played their final group game the previous day, Indonesia’s fate was in the hands of the outcome of the Group F match between Oman and Kyrgyzstan, which ended in a 1-1 draw, securing Indonesia’s fourth place among the top three teams in each group. Shin, who has been hailed as a “fortune teller” during his time at the helm of South Korea’s A and age-group national teams, took Indonesia from the brink of elimination to the round of 16, proving that the lucky charms that surround him can work on the Asian stage. Shin has been successfully guiding Indonesia since 2020.Thailand and Indonesia are the only two Southeast Asian teams to reach 토토사이트 the round of 16 in the tournament.