South Korea, Iraq, and Jordan gear up to start with wins on Monday

South Korea, Iraq, and Jordan gear up to start with wins on Monday

QLNews
By QLNews

South Korea, who last won the AFC Asian Cup trophy way back in 1960, is serious about winning the continental showpiece in Doha this time.

Helping them gun for glory will be legendary former German player and coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who steered his home nation to third place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The South Koreans will begin their Group E campaign with a game against Bahrain at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.

Indonesia, one of the lowest ranked teams in the tournament, will be focusing on both long-term development and results. They will face an uphill battle against Iraq in their Group D encounter.

Jordan’s head coach Hussein Ammouta will be asking his players to be fully focused on the task at hand when they take on Malaysia in a Group E game at the Al Janoub Stadium.

Here is a look at how Monday’s games are poised.

GROUP E
SOUTH KOREA VS BAHRAIN

Kick-off: 2:30pm
Venue: Jassim bin Hamad Stadium

Jurgen Klinsmann, who won the 1990 FIFA World Cup and steered Germany to third place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, is now looking to make his mark on the Asian stage.

Klinsmann will have a star-studded squad at his disposal. He has with him the likes of Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Hwang Hee-chan and Bayern Munich’s Kim Min-jae headlining the cast.

Meanwhile, Juan Antonio Pizzi will handle a team for a second successive AFC Asian Cup after being at the helm of Saudi Arabia in 2019. The Bahrain head coach will be under no illusion about the massive task ahead of him.

The 55-year-old Spaniard has been with the team for only less than a year, but he is very optimistic that Bahrain can cause some major upsets during their stay in Qatar.

GROUP D
INDONESIA VS IRAQ

Kick-off: 5:30pm
Venue: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium

Team Garuda are the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament, sitting just five places above 150th-ranked Hong Kong. And their upcoming match against Iraq, placed 80 rungs above them, will not at all be easy.

But Indonesia’s head coach Shin Tae-Yong said his young team would give it their all on the playground.

Iraq had handed Indonesia a heavy 5-1 defeat when the two sides met last in November, during the Preliminary Joint Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027. But Shin expects his team to be totally different on Monday.

For Iraq’s head coach Jesus Casas, the result of their opening match could be decided through small details against a side very similar to his own.

There are doubts about the availability of Iraqi defender Saad Natiq and that could be cause for definite worry for the team.

GROUP E
MALAYSIA VS JORDAN

Kick-off: 8:30pm
Venue: Al Janoub Stadium

Jordan’s head coach Hussein Ammouta, who led Morocco to the 2020 African Cup of Nations title, believes Malaysia have improved a lot since their last encounter in 2021. However, a rock-solid defence will be the key to thwarting the South East Asian side.

Jordan had mixed results in their build-up, starting with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Qatar, before going down 6-1 against four-time champions Japan. But Ammouta is confident his team is well prepared.

For Kim Pang-Gon’s Malaysia, the Group E game provides the perfect opportunity to prove a point. He said his team had a game plan in mind and would strike to surprise their opponents.

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