South Korea Seek Key Point Against Singapore for World Cup Qualifying Progress

South Korea face Singapore on Thursday and need just a single point to advance to the third round of Asia's 2026 World Cup qualifiers. Currently under interim coach Kim Do-hoon, South Korea leads Group C and aims for a win or draw to confirm their progression.

Reuters | Updated: 05-06-2024 09:37 IST | Created: 05-06-2024 09:37 IST
South Korea Seek Key Point Against Singapore for World Cup Qualifying Progress
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South Korea face Singapore on Thursday needing just a point to ensure progress to the third round of Asia's 2026 World Cup qualifiers despite Kim Do-hoon becoming the third coach at the helm of the regional heavyweights since the turn of the year.

Kim was appointed last month as the team's second interim coach in the aftermath of Juergen Klinsmann's sacking after a failed Asian Cup campaign. Kim replaced Hwang Sun-hong, who led the team through March's qualifying doubleheader. Anything other than a defeat in Singapore by a side who have picked up one point in four matches, and were trounced 5-0 in Seoul in November, would see South Korea advance.

Qatar, Japan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Australia and the United Arab Emirates have already advanced to the third round, where 18 nations will battle for six of the continent's eight guaranteed berths at the 2026 finals in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Kim, who won the Asian Champions League title with Ulsan Hyundai in 2020 before coaching Singaporean side Lion City Sailors, said South Korea would take nothing for granted in the city-state.

"Southeast Asian football has improved so much lately, and we shouldn't take Singapore lightly," he added. "Their national team now has several players that I coached in Singapore. So I will share my scouting reports on them with my players now."

The South Koreans lead Group C by three points from China, who face Thailand in Shenyang knowing a win would also take them into the third round. Saudi Arabia can confirm their progress from Group G with victory over Pakistan in Islamabad while Asian Cup finalists Jordan need a win over Tajikistan in Amman to also advance.

India take on Kuwait in Group A with both nations looking to go through alongside already-qualified Asian Cup holders Qatar, who face off against an Afghanistan side still harbouring qualification hopes of their own. Syria and North Korea meet in neutral Vientiane in the race to take second place in Group B behind Japan.

Kyrgyzstan face Malaysia in Group D, with that pair plus Oman still in contention for a third-round spot, while Indonesia host Iraq hoping for a result that will see them join the Group F winners in the next round. A draw against Yemen in Riffa would see Bahrain advance from Group H, while a point would also be enough for Palestine to finish second in Group I ahead of Lebanon, who they meet in Doha.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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