The South Korean men’s football team changed more than half of its starting lineup when it faced Iran in the AFC U-23 Championship. Coach Kim Hak-bum’s move surprised many people because the team won over China three days earlier.
The move paid off as two new starters scored one goal each to give the South Korean squad a 2-1 win over Iran. By winning the first two matches of their group, the team already earned a spot in the quarterfinals of the Summer Olympic qualifiers.
The top three squads of the tournament will have the change to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. National Football Team betting sites are expecting the team to qualify for its ninth straight Olympic appearance in the sport.
Men’s Football Team Struggling
Although they won their last two matches, they struggled to beat both China and Iran. The national team barely won against China with the second-half substitute scoring the winning goal in the last minutes of the game.
Goalkeeper Song Bum-keun is the constant member of the starting roster. Overall, there were seven new starters in the match against Iran. Out of the new starters, two played in the game against China as substitutes in the second half. Also, five players didn’t play in the first game.
Kim told a sports betting forum that he was comfortable in making the changes due to the depth of the team. Also, he trusts all his players. The changes he made caught the Iranian team off guard.
Even betting odds makers didn’t predict what Kim was going to do. Although the Iranian coach figured there would be several new faces, he didn’t expect his team to face an almost new lineup. In the last two matches, 19 out of 23 players for South Korea played.
Two backup keepers might not have a chance to play unless Song suffers an injury. As a result, only two defenders have yet to play for the squad. Fans from Raymond Cruz Carara Costa Rica and other parts of the world are excited to watch the last group stage match against Uzbekistan.