10 October 2019
Ranked 165 places above Sri Lanka (FIFA Ranking: 202nd), South Korea (FIFA Ranking: 37th) will be poised to post their second successive victory in the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign when the two nations face-off at Hwaseong Sports Complex Main Stadium in Hwaseong this midweek.
Backed by a 2-0 away triumph over Tajikistan last time out, the hosts will be looking to stretch their unbeaten streak to seven games, friendlies included (W4, D2). A tough nut to crack, the Taegeuk Warriors have kept eight clean sheets in their last 13 outings, allowing 2+ match goals only once in the process. Additionally, Paulo Bento’s men have racked up a five-game unbeaten home run since exiting the Asian Cup back in January (W3, D2). Interestingly, while both of those stalemates witnessed both teams score, each of their three triumphs in that span has been settled by a narrow one-goal margin.
Meanwhile, the visitors have lost both of their opening qualifying matches at home without scoring a single goal. Indeed, for Sri Lanka, goals have been at a premium recently, as they’ve struggled to find the net in four of their last six outings, netting 2+ match goals once in the remaining two. Overall, it’s been rough 12 months for Sri Lanka, who won just one of nine games since October 2018 (W1, D1, L7). What’s more, the Golden Lion lost five of their seven previous trips (D2, L5), preventing their rivals from scoring more than one goal per match just twice across that period.
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