Kyrgyzstan welcome the visitors South Korea in the Asian Cup. The match will be held on Friday, January 11th, at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium (Al Ain).
Kyrgyzstan’s performance in the Asian Cup opener made us overcome our perception of this team. First, they were seen as mere passengers who came to compete in the tournament ‘as tourists’, but their clash with the Chinese national team changed this view. Kyrgyzstan surpassed the opponent throughout the match but conceded with a 1:2 scoreline. This is the case when the score does not reflect the game. The nominal hosts featured strong attack, making 10 hits, while China made 9. Most interestingly, the match saw a 2:1 scoreline by the shots on target in favor of the Chinese side, all shots produced goals. The stats is really ‘amazing’ for keepers! Kyrgyzstan looked more pressing and more interesting than their first round opponent. It is also noteworthy that the hosts managed to win Palestine and Jordan in December friendly international matches. Going by the first Asian Cup round, these teams take quite a solid stand in the Asian football. Mind that the Jordanians have won over the Australians themselves!
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As for South Korea’s performance in the Cup opener, it was very disappointing. The absence of the main Asian star Son Heung-min has seemingly hit the Koreans. They did win the Philippines, but they struggled a lot, making a solitude goal in the mid of the second half. Just think of the possession difference of 82 to 18! The Korean team possessed 82% of the time but managed to net only once to one of the weakest team in the table (Philippines will certainly find themselves in top-three losers of the tournament!) So, this guests’ performance does not seem very promising. They basically have no key to unlock the opponents’ defense. And, note once again – their rival’s defense was not strong at all. Vietnam scored to Philippines four goals in the December friendly international match. What will South Korea undertake against the opponent equally playing defense first but featuring a much stronger defense? Well, the Koreans’ hammering is in the air.
Beyond the shadow of a doubt, we bet on Kyrgyzstan’s win with a positive handicap. There is only one handicap available – +2.0, though +1.5 seems also possible, as we don’t count much on the Koreans’ attack.
Prediction for the match: Kyrgyzstan to win with a +2.0 handicap.