16 January 2019
The AFC Asian Cup clash at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi will see South Korea and China battling it out for the top spot in Group C.
The Taegeuk Warriors have won both of their opening two games against the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan with the identical 1-0 scoreline although Paulo Bento’s players wasted a few massive opportunities against the White Falcons to improve their goal difference. The Taegeuk Warriors are unbeaten in the previous ten outings (W6, D4), with five of their six victories saw them beating their rivals to nil. South Korea’s firm backline has kept a clean sheet in seven of their last ten meetings, allowing over 1.5 goals per match only once in the process. Meanwhile, for South Korea, goals have been at a premium, with Paulo Bento’s men scoring over 1.5 goals per game just once in their previous five races.
On the other hand, the Team Dragon enter this meeting as slight underdogs, but avoiding a failure would see them finishing top of the group. Having secured a 2-1 win over Kyrgyzstan and a 3-0 win over the Philippines, China are one of six teams to score over 1.5 goals in both of their opening two games at the tournament. It was also the first time China managed to score over 1.5 goals per match in back-to-back appearances for the first time after 16 outings. Marcello Lippi’s players have gone from three successive games without a victory to two straight triumphs, as they now have the chance to rack up a three-game winning run for the first time since 2016. Also, China’s stubborn defense have kept a clean sheet six times in their last 11 races, conceding over 1.5 goals per match only once in the process.
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