China and South Korea are through

Two out of the four East Asian sides are already through to the last 16 of the Asian Cup. This happened as on Friday China and South Korea both won their second came in Group C. The two sides now sit on six points equally setting up a decider on Wednesday for the top spot. 

Wu Lei showed it on the international stage  

A lot of talk about China before the Asian Cup was about if Wu Lei could do it on the international stage. The player came into the tournament on great form having won the league with Shanghai SIPG, been the top scorer in the CSL and he was named CSL player of the season. The 27-year-old however before the start of the competition only had 14 goals in 55 matches for his country.

Then in China's first match at the beginning of the week, Wu Lei did not impress much as his country limped to a 2-1 win over Kyrgyzstan. This performance was not great from China and Wu Lei and his teammates knew things had to improve against the Philippines.
Wu Lei in action
This did improve though for the whole team and China run out 3-0 winners with a performance that's been lacking for a long time for the national side. Lippi will be very pleased he finally got the best from his players now and will be hoping to kick on when they face East Asian rivals South Korea.

To Wu Lei and the player currently at the Chinese champions, Shanghai SIPG will be pleased as he showed what he can do with two very well taken goals. This was the sort of performance that would have had scouts the world over thinking of a January bid for the man. As you can see from the video below he took both goals very well and the second on the volley was a joy to behold. 

South Korea kick on but need goals 

South Korea just like China made it two wins from two at the Asian Cup on Friday as they run out 1-0 winners over Kyrgyzstan. It was to be a very frustrating night though for both Bento and his frontmen. As I watched on I felt myself shouting at the TV a few times for Korea to be better in front of goal and make the correct decision which they just did not do.

Despite this poor decision making, they did still run out winners thanks to a very good header from Kim Min-Jae with the defender picking up his first goal for his country. The 22-year-old Jeonbuk player is also one to look out for and I expect bids from Europe to come in for him.

The unfortunate thing was the defender had to do it for his country as the frontmen were not helping. The worse offender for this was our man Lee Chung-Yong who missed a sitter before Korea went into the lead. The experienced midfielder somehow put the ball over the bar from around six yards with the keeper out of position.

South Korea then managed to hit the bar three times in the second half as they searched for a second to put the game to bed. Kyrgyzstan might not have had a lot of the ball but they still gave South Korea a scare on more than one occasion. They had a few shouts for handball in the box but it would have been a brave referee to call for a penalty.

Next for China and South Korea

Next up then for the two East Asian sides is a match with each other on Wednesday. Either side will know a win will mean topping the group while a draw will mean China win the group. The winners of this group will also face a favourable last 16 tie as they will face one of the best teams to finish third. 

Then despite the shaky start, I suspect we will begin to see South Korea get into top gear in this match and I can see them winning by a couple. The Koreans will also be boosted with the return of the inform Spurs man Son Heung-Min.

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