Jordan to play South Korea in 2023 AFC Asian Cup semifinal today

Jordan to play South Korea in 2023 AFC Asian Cup semifinal today

QLNews
By QLNews

The 2023 AFC Asian Cup, which has broken attendance records and given fans quite a handful of thrilling matches, is nearing its end.

With Jordan set to play South Korea in the first semifinal at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday, the excitement is palpable.

While Jordan improved on their AFC Asian Cup show with a first-time semifinal appearance, South Korea are hoping to make it to their second final in a row.

Both sides are raring for the fight and here is a look at the mood of the teams as they prepare for battle.

JORDAN VS SOUTH KOREA

Kick-off: 6:00pm
Venue: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium

Jordan head coach Hussein Ammouta believes he has to get his tactics right for Jordan’s semifinal against South Korea.

Ammouta is determined Jordan’s journey will only end after lifting the title for the first time despite the awesome challenge awaiting them. 

“It’s going to be a very challenging match for both teams. It’ll be tough for us as we’ll be missing two key players. This match will be more difficult than the ones we’d in the group stage. But we’re placing plenty of emphasis on our preparations,” said the 54-year-old.

“Everyone in this competition is mentally prepared, and that’s why we’ve to focus on improving the tactical aspects of our game. We need to make improvements when playing at this stage of the tournament, and the tactical aspects should be well covered.

“Making tactical decisions involves avoiding or pressuring strong teams and ensuring that every player gets what they deserve. Each team needs thorough preparation, both mentally and physically, to endure playing for 120 minutes.”

Jordan will be without the services of Ali Olwan and Salem Al Ajalin, but Ammouta is confident he has enough quality in his squad to compensate for the absence of the suspended players.

“We’ll certainly miss the players in the semifinal. They were part of Jordan’s core team, but we’ve players who can step into these roles. We’ll need to make some sacrifices and the players know that they’re required to make big decisions when they step onto the field,” he said.

“Mousa Al Tamari will be ready. He’s a key player and we rely on him. However, it isn’t just Musa’s effort that we need, we require contributions from everyone. I hope we’ll maintain high focus and concentration on small details that can lead to significant changes. We count on the support of our fans to win this game against South Korea,” he added.

This will be South Korea’s fifth AFC Asian Cup semifinal in seven editions and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann believes his players have what it takes to reach the final.

“We’re very excited for this semifinal match, a huge compliment to Jordan. We emerged from the same group, which only highlights our strong team dynamics. However, our hunger for success drives us to go further. We’re fit, optimistic and eagerly looking forward to advancing all the way to the final. The mood within the team is very positive,” said Klinsmann.

“The team needs to stay relaxed, focus on the upcoming challenge, and eliminate distractions that aren’t important right now. I believe this group of players are experienced, and our goal is to reach the final and we’re entering the match against a very strong Jordan team fully prepared to play 120 minutes and even face a penalty shootout if needed,” added the former German international.

South Korea had to fight their way back to win in four of their five matches in Qatar, but Klinsmann believes his team has matured throughout the tournament.

“The expectations and pressure at the beginning are always challenging for every nation but as things progress, you build confidence, and now, being in the last-four, it boosts that confidence. Similar to how Argentina overcame their defeat against Saudi Arabia in their 2022 FIFA World Cup opener, they faced pressure in their subsequent game against Mexico.
“Once you get the first couple of games out of the way and the confidence builds after navigating through all the challenging matches, having the whole nation behind you becomes a positive factor. A team needs plenty of mental strength to play in a tournament and you’ve to be prepared for the marathon. Now, we just have to finish strong and secure that gold,” he said.

South Korea’s bid for a second final in three editions, however, will have to be attained without Kim Min-jae, with the Bayern Munich centre-back suspended for the semifinal.

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