South Korea qualify for AFCU23 knockout stage with victory over Iran

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South Korea went into this match against Iran, knowing a victory would give them a great chance of reaching the knockout stages of the AFCU23 Championship and that is exactly what they did. 

South Korea power into the knockout stages

Lee Dong-jun and Cho Gue-sung gave South Korea a two-goal cushion in a match they were eager to win in order to reach the knockout stages of the tournament.

The first goal by Lee Dong-jun was a shot that was knocked back into his path by the Iranian keeper, with Lee Dong-jun following up the shot and smashing it with glee into the back of the net. The goalscoring plaudits, however, will go to Cho Gue-sung, receiving the ball 35 yards out from goal in the 35th minute of the match.

He turned on a sixpence, then thundered a shot that fizzed into the bottom corner of Iran's net. There wasn't any hope of keeping that out, with Cho turning and looking as proud as punch with his thunderbanger. He had every bloody right too as well. A lovely thump!

These two goals put South Korea in the driving seat for the rest of the game, however, Iran did try to conjure up a fightback, by pulling a goal back in the 50th odd minute through Shakari with a close-range header. Korea though managed to hold onto the win, which got them into the next round with a game to spare. And as the tournament is panning out, they could be the only East Asian representative at the business end of the competition, as China and Japan both lost today against Uzbekistan and Syria respectively.

South Korea through no matter what happens against Uzbekistan

Whatever happens now in Korea's last game with the Uzbeks, no result can stop them making the knockout stage.

This will give Korean coach Hak-Beom Kim some options ahead of their final group match.

He can decide to rotate his squad and have a look at other players for the final round, or he could make an attempt to go undefeated and keep the momentum going. In my opinion, he will go for the rotate option and give some of the lads a rest, in order to have them fresh for the first knockout match they will face.

And we will all be behind Korea at the Tofu Bowl headquarters as they're likely going to be the sole Representative from our region.

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