The Asian Games has reached the quarter-final stage
The Asian Games has reached the quarter-final stage, and the draw has thrown up one of the best fixtures that will be played in the competition yet. In-form Uzbekistan will play tournament favourites and last Asian Games champions South Korea
Uzbekistan has been the best team in the tournament so far, getting to this stage of the competition without conceding a goal, losing or drawing a game. They have looked like a well-oiled machine and will take some beating, but in South Korea, they now face an opponent who is more than capable of not only scoring against them but also knocking them out of the competition.
South Korea’s big players came good when they needed them
Son Heung-min came big when South Korea needed him in their game against Kyrgyzstan and Lee Sung-woo scored a cracking goal again Iran. Both these players were in South Korea’s World Cup squad and they aren’t the only players who South Korea can call upon from their World Cup squad that had a rubbish showing at the World Cup then out of nowhere smashed a dysfunctional German side.
The match between the Uzbeks and the South Koreans will be the best matchup at the tournament so far, as previously all games have been a little one-sided, especially a lot of group matches. Now we are getting to the business end of the tournament. This is the first game where it is difficult to see the outcome of the game, as it could go either way.
Uzbekistan has been South Korea’s bogey team
In previous meetings, South Korea have found it very tough to defeat the side from Central Asia, and they only scraped through to the World Cup by getting a 0-0 draw away to Uzbekistan. If Uzbekistan scored that night and ended up winning the game I believe South Korea would have been either plonked into the play-off with Australia or out completely depending on how other results went.
As it happened that night, a draw wasn’t enough for the Uzbeks and they didn’t even end up in the playoffs because of Syria’s miraculous result against Iran. What it does show though is how tough and opponent Uzbekistan has been in recent times for a good South Korean side who are generally better in attack than defence.
The winner of the tournament will come from this game
This game is against the two best sides in the competition and it would have been much better for it to be the final not the quarter-final. However, that’s by the by and it will still be a cracking game nonetheless.
No other side in the tournament has looked as good as these two, we know South Korea lost to Malaysia but that provided the large hoof up the backside they needed and if South Korea can navigate the tricky tie in the quarters then they will win. As for Uzbekistan they have been the Mike Tyson of the Asian Games so far, no one has looked like beating them or even breaching their defence, they are a solid unit. Make no doubt about it, the winner of the competition will be whoever ends up victorious in this fixture.