The national soccer team, led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, played the round of 16 of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup against Saudi Arabia at 1:30 a.m. on the 31st (Korea Standard Time) for about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
It was a rollercoaster ride. Immediately before the end of the second half when Cho Kyu-sung (Mit Whelan) was poised to lose after receiving the first goal, the game went into overtime due to a golden equalizer. The game was also decided in the overtime, and the game ended with a 4-2 victory after the penalty shootout.
After a two-day break, Korea will play against Australia in the quarterfinals at 12:30 a.m. on February 3. Australia, which played Indonesia in the round of 16 on the 28th, had two more days to spare than Korea. It is an environment that is bound to lag behind in the physical battle.
Coach Graham Arnold also expressed confidence in a press conference after his victory in the round of 16, saying, “No matter who the opponent is in the quarterfinals, we have two more days off.”
Clinton’s short rest period is not a big problem.” “I think these players are used to living with fatigue and pain. There are many K-League players as well as overseas players who play every three days. If you go to a big competition, you have short rest days. It is professional to have that in the game.”
“I don’t think it’s going to be a big problem. We need to check the players’ conditions first. I have confidence that I will prepare well for the match against Australia. My goal is to win the title, but I need to play well in the immediate game to go that way,” he added.
One day after the last-16 match, Klinsmann started training with a focus on “recovery.” Training sessions were divided into recovery and non-recovery groups. Son Heung-min, Cho Kyu-sung, Jung Woo-young, Hwang Hee-chan, Lee Kang-in, Lee Jae-seong, Hwang In-beom, Park Yong-woo, Seol Young-woo, Kim Young-kwon, Kim Min-jae, Jung Seung-hyeon, Kim Tae-hwan, and Cho Hyun-woo were included in the recovery group and warmed up while running.