Brazil v South Korea
South Korea’s last game against Portugal ended in a 2-1 victory with goals from Young Gwon-Kim and Hwang Hee-Chan’s 91st minute winner. In the games previous to this, they liked to dictate the play and control possession but it was a different story in this game. Portugal denied possession but didn’t deny the amount of shots they had.
During the first game against Uruguay, South Korea had been forced out wide and to put corners in the box which didn’t prove to be much success. Against Ghana and Portugal, they decided to adopt this strategy which resulted in 2 headed goals against Ghana and a shot from a set piece against Portugal. This time around, I think they will use this same strategy to try and penetrate Brazil’s defensive line.
The victory over Portugal also proved to be a huge playground for Captain Son Hueng-Min netting 5 shots, 2 on target and a magnificent assist to provide the winner. He has finally found his footing and surely will be a threat going into this game.
Another big surprise in this World Cup in Qatar, Brazil’s defeat to Cameroon brought some problems: Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus were injured and are out of the World Cup. In addition, some structural problems appeared in the team, but perhaps there is time to correct them.
Against South Korea, Tite will return with his starting lineup with doubts. The main one is the recovery of Neymar, who has returned to training with the ball. The other is who should play on the left wing, which should change the entire defensive line. Tite can improvise Danilo on the left, and use Militão or Dani Alves on the right.
With the return of Hwang Hee-Chan, I am not sure if there will be a starting spot for Cho Gue-Sung. He has been playing extremely well but Bento will want to use his strongest tools and Hee-Chan will most likely be this choice. There is also news of Kim Min-Jae returning to training so he may feature in the starting line up against Brazil and provide that seniority in the back line.
This game will be a tough game for South Korea but they need to utilize their three biggest strengths in order to win: Possession, counter attacks and Son Hueng-Min.
The national team striker scored two goals on his debut against Serbia and failed to score against Switzerland. After not playing against Cameroon, “O Pombo” returns to face South Korea and with the responsibility of being the final man of the Brazilian attack.
In 2022, Richarlison has already scored 12 goals with the national team’s shirt in 877 minutes played. This gives an average of 1.3 goals scored/90min, which is an excellent average and has led him to be the main goalscorer for the national team.
With the game against Portugal, Son Hueng-Min has been coming back into form and it showed, assisting in a spectacular last minute winner but also having 5 shots with 2 of them on target. He will be trying to get into the pockets to create chances for himself and for others around him.
This time around, I feel like he will want to exploit the Brazilian backline and try to net a goal himself to put his team in a comfortable position. This could be the answer to “will South Korea move forward in this tournament?”
Jung Woo-Young has been a pivotal part of the South Korean team but has lazily given away free kicks due to clumsy tackles. He is averaging over 2 fouls per game and with a team like Brazil, he will get punished by the speed of the Brazilian frontline.
Generally a lot of the fouls committed are from South Korea’s midfield as his partner Hwang In-Beom commits a lot as well. I think it will be tricky for them to hold out and if the odds are good enough, a card in favour of Woo-Young will be a good call!
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