One of the tournament favourites South Korea will get their tournament underway against Bahrain. They will face off against Jordan and Malaysia for a spot in the knockout round.
Preview (South Korea vs. Bahrain)
South Korea defeated Iraq 1-0 at the New York University Stadium on Saturday to cap up their Asian Cup preparations. Five minutes before halftime, Jae-Sung Lee gave Jurgen Klinsmann’s team the lead. It turned out to be the crucial moment in a close match. As a result, since September, the Tigers of Asia have emerged victorious in all six of their games. Next up for them is a matchup with a rival team that has only won once in the last six iterations.
South Korea will be eager to set the early tone as they pursue continental supremacy. They have started each of their last three Asian Cup campaigns with victories. At the Police Officers Stadium on Wednesday, Bahrain’s Black Sable antelopes of Angola defeated them 3-0 (recap). After a dull first forty-five minutes, goals in the second half from Dana Gelson, Agostinho Mabululu, and Nunio Fortuna put Helio Sousa’s team to the sword. Since they defeated Yemen 2-0 in the opening round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. The Pearl Divers had suffered three straight losses. More worryingly for Bahrain, they have also failed to find the back of the net in that time. They will need to get going at the top end of the pitch to avoid an early exit.
Kim Min-Jae and Son Heung-Min were used as second-half substitutes against Iraq. As Bahrain’s starting goalkeeper, Ibrahim Lutfalla has made a name for himself and is most likely to continue in that role. Abdulla Yusuf Helal, 30, is getting ready to earn his 97th cap on Monday, bringing his total number of international appearances to almost a century. The teams are very different in quality, and South Korea is a strong favorite to win this match with the most points possible. We expect that they will easily win all three points in what should be a primarily one-sided contest.
South Korea 3 – 0 Bahrain
For more football previews, click here