Friday Jan 27, 2023

South Korea Qualifies for the FIFA World Cup

South Korea Takes Another Shot at the FIFA World Cup

With their most recent victory in the current football qualifiers, South Korea has secured an early world championship football spot for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Kim Jin-Su and Kwon Chang-Hoon scored a goal as South Korea beat Syria 2-0 in Group A action in Dubai on Tuesday to seal the country’s place at the football world cup. 

The match was at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai, a neutral venue during conflict situations. South Korea will play in their tenth World Cup in November and their 11th overall. Since 1986, Mexico has served as the setting for South Korea’s participation in the World Cup. 

With this win, South Korea has a spot and an automatic berth in Group A. At the same time, there are two groups of six nations in the final round, with the top two squads from each group going to the Qatar World Cup directly while the two third-place teams compete in a final playoff for the remaining spots. Iran became the first team out of Group A to secure a slot after defeating Iraq 1-0 last Thursday. And South Korea joined them this week.

At halftime, there was no score; Syria did not allow South Korea to gain a one-goal lead. South Korea sighed with relief when Omar Khribin’s header, set up by Mahmoud Al-Mawas’ free-kick, was ruled offside in the 10th minute. The original decision remained after a video review of the play. 

A few minutes later, South Korean left-back Kim Jin-Su fired a shot from a difficult angle that went just over the net. In the 24th minute, Kim was nearly in trouble when Al-Mawas intercepted his pass back to goalkeeper Kim Seung-Gyu, who rolled the ball just left of the goal. Cho Gue-sung’s diving header went wide for South Korea at the end of the first half. In the first 45 minutes, South Korea didn’t have a single shot on target.

The hour-mark witnessed Kim Jin-Su’s heroics, who had gone from a near hero to a near pariah. He rose to meet Kim Tae-hwan’s cross from the right-wing and put South Korea ahead with an early goal in the 53rd minute. The goal was Kim’s second international score and his first at Rashid Stadium since the AFC Asian Cup in January 2019.

In the dying minutes, Syrian Kamel Hmeisheh attempted to cross the ball into the middle despite having a fantastic look at the net down the right side of the box. Still, he wasted an opportunity to level the score. Kwon Chang-hoon started the second half and scored a brilliant individual effort, doubling the lead. Kwon moved to the centre and fired a left-footed shot into the corner of the short side after collecting the ball on the right edge. The midfielder has had three goals in his past four games, which occurred within 16 days.

Even with crucial players rising to the occasion, South Koreans must be cautious that there is still much more to do. After all, four years ago, expectations were likewise high for the Koreans, who were eliminated halfway through their campaign following losses to Sweden and Mexico before ending it with a stunning 2-0 victory over eventual champions Germany. 

South Korea, one of the world’s top teams and one of the sport’s biggest names, will have to set its sights high in Qatar at the end of the year if it wishes to take the next step on football’s biggest stage.


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