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K League Internationals: South Korea seek win over Iran

league 2021.10.10   I   hits 1148

There are more international fixtures involving K League stars coming up in the next few days, including South Korea heading to Tehran to take on Iran. South Korea's last win over Iran was a decade ago but three points against the Cheetahs of Asia this Tuesday would take the Taeguk Warriors to the top of World Cup Qualification Asia Group A.

Iran (1st) vs South Korea (2nd) - Tuesday 12th October, 22:30 KST

The top two teams in Group A collide on Tuesday night when South Korea head to Tehran to take on Iran. Both teams are unbeaten so far but Iran have picked up three straight wins, their most recent being a 1-0 away victory over the UAE to take them back to the top of the group. A third clean sheet in succession meant that Team Melli are yet to concede a goal during this third round of qualifying, continuing their impressive defensive displays from round two during which the team conceded just four. 

In World Cup Qualification Asia as a whole, Iran sit second in terms of goals scored with 39 and for shots made with 196. Korea sit fourth for shots with 178 but move up to third for shots made per 90 minutes. Iran's shooting accuracy is the best out of all the teams still in qualifying, Korea sit fifth in this regard. Korea, though, have had the most possession with 73.4%.

Mehdi Taremi will be one to watch for Iran, the Porto forward is second in Asian Qualifying for key passes with 11, third for assists with five and also has six goals to his name. For Korea, Hong Chul has made the second-most crosses with 51 while Kim Young-gwon is fourth for passes made to the final third with 118. Holding midfielder Jung Woo-young sits top for passes made to the final third per 90 minutes with 23.12.

The last two meetings between South Korea and Iran have ended as draws. The most recent encounter in June 2019 ended 1-1, Hwang Ui-jo gave the Taeguk Warriors the lead before an unfortunate own goal from Kim Young-gwon ensured that the spoils were shared. Korea's last two visits to Iran have ended in defeats, however, and both by one-goal-to-nil. Overall, there have been 16 meetings between the two teams since 2004, Iran have eight wins to Korea's three and five draws. Korea's last win over Iran dates back to 2011, a 1-0 extra time victory in the AFC Asian Cup in the quarter-finals. On that occasion, Yoon Bit-garam scored the game's only goal in the 105th minute. 

Last Time Out

South Korea 2-1 Syria

South Korea extended their unbeaten run in Group A last Thursday with a 2-1 victory over Syria. Former Daejeon Citizen midfielder Hwang In-beom opened the scoring three minutes after the interval before captain Son Heung-min fired in an 89th minute winner after Omar Khribin levelled five minutes earlier. Three K League players started at the Wa~ Stadium in Ansan, full backs Lee Yong and Hong Chul as well as winger Song Min-kyu. The full back duo played the full 90 minutes, Song meanwhile was replaced on 56 minutes by former Jeonbuk attacking midfielder Lee Jae-sung. Lee Dong-jun of Ulsan Hyundai and Cho Gue-seung of Gimcheon Sangmu were Bento's other subs, coming on in the 69th and 86th minutes respectively. 

Other K League Internationals

Stefan Mugoša on Saturday was involved in Montenegro's clash with Gibraltar, starting up front in a 3-0 win. The Incheon United striker played the first 45 minutes before being replaced by Milutin Osmajić. Up next is Norway away on October 12th at 03:45 KST.

Doneil Henry was an unused substitute in Canada's 1-1 draw with Mexico on Friday while Jonathan Moya started for Costa Rica in the 0-0 draw with Honduras on the same day. Henry and Canada take on Jamaica next on Monday morning while Moya and Costa Rica have a home fixture with El Salvador.

Asnawi Mangkualam was an unused substitute in Indonesia's 2-1 AFC Asian Cup qualification playoff against Chinese Taipei. The second leg is on Monday night at 10 PM KST.

[READ: K League Internationals October 2021 Preview]

Paul Neat
Managing Editor