The 2015 Asian Cup has reached the business end of the tournament. With the semi-final stage on the horizon the remaining four sides know they’re only two games away from glory.
The first final four fixture takes place on Monday morning as giants South Korea take on Iraq in Sydney. The two teams have been forced to overcome difficult hurdles en route to the semi-finals but who’s best equipped to progress?
South Korea have been far from the glitz and glamour side we’d come to know of in the past two to four years. A dismal World Cup showing saw Uli Stielike take over the role as head coach and the German has transformed the Taegeuk Warriors into a machine.
Korea have become the first side in Asian Cup history to reach this stage without conceding a goal although they did require extra-time to see off Uzbekistan in the quarter-final bout. The big names have recovered from injury and illness and so Stielike’s men deserve strong favouritism.
Opponents Iraq required penalties to overcome bitter rivals Iran in what was one of the best Asian Cup games in history. The game turned on Mehrdad Pouladi’s red card for Iran but Radhi Shenaishel showed plenty of character to battle back plus a steely determination to get through the spot-kicks.
With both teams set-up with a defensive first attitude and with so much riding on the semi-final, taking a bet on a low-scoring game looks the most astute play.