DOHA - South Korean coach Cho Kwang-rae is
preparing his side for an aerial bombardment from Australia when
the two AFC heavyweights clash in Group C of the Asian Cup.
South Korea were impressive against Bahrain in their opening
2-1 victory but face a far stiffer task when they play the best
ranked side in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Friday.
"I have emphasised the importance of the organisation in the
defensive areas especially the flanks to stop the crosses," Cho
told reporters on Thursday.
"Even if we are a bit shorter than the Australian guys it is
important to get the right timing and positioning for the aerial
After a disappointing tournament debut four years ago
following confident predictions, Australia have been keen to
play down expectations in Qatar.
Their German coach Holger Osieck kept his cards close to his
chest Thursday, refusing to confirm Cho's prediction that the
Socceroos would attack the twice champions down the flanks.
"I'm amazed he (Cho) knows my team better than I do so maybe
I will double check with him at the hotel and get some tips and
some information from him," Osieck joked when asked whether
Australia would play with width.
"It is no secret that the Korean team is a very, very high
hurdle. They are strong but we are strong so we will see who
will be better on the day.
"We know about individuals in their team and their quality.
We have our plan already. But if I look at my team, we also have
quality players and it will be interesting to see who is in the
best form tomorrow."
Australia enjoyed an easy afternoon when they thrashed India
4-0 in their opening match and while both teams should qualify
no matter what the result on Friday, victory for either would be
a significant boost to their confidence.
Australia will wear black armbands in respect for the people
who have died in the Queensland floods.
Socceroos' captain Lucas Neill revealed five members of the
23-man squad have links to the affected area and had been
calling home and checking the internet for updates.
"Everyone will be focused on the job at hand tomorrow. We
want to win even more," he said.
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