Uli Stielike: South Korea not underestimating Kuwait

The South Koreans made a winning start at the 16th Asian Cup, edging Oman 1-0 in Canberra on Saturday, and Stielike’s side are set to return to Australia’s capital city for Tuesday’s clash with Kuwait.

Kuwait were routed 4-1 by host nation Australia on the opening night in Melbourne last week but Stielike is expecting a tough test at GIO Stadium Canberra against the 125th-ranked side.

“We cannot go out with the mindset of thinking Kuwait lost 4-1, it will be an easy game. It will be a tough game,” the German boss said.

“If Kuwait play with the same mentality as Oman and nine guys behind the ball to close spaces, we have to move a lot if we want to break this wall.”

While South Korea are bracing for a tough challenge, Stielike’s men may be their own worst enemy.

South Korea – one of the pre-tournament favourites – were disappointing against Oman, despite dominating for large periods of the match.

It continued a theme from last year’s World Cup, where South Korea struggled to break down opposition defences, scoring just three goals in as many games as they failed to register a win.

Stielike, however, said South Korea will stick to their possession-based philosophy against the Kuwaitis.

“The team that has control over the ball has control over the game, but this team, in the good moments, has to score,” he added.

“And that’s what we need to learn from the game against Oman.”

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