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S. Korea to face Jordan in quarterfinals at Olympic football qualifying tournament

All News 07:29 January 21, 2016

DOHA, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will face Jordan in the quarterfinals of the Olympic men's football qualifying tournament on Saturday in Doha.

South Korea had clinched the top spot in Group C at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship after a 1-1 draw with Iraq in the Qatari capital on Tuesday, and set themselves up for a quarterfinal date against the runner-up from Group D.

Jordan got the second seed with five points in Group D following their scoreless draw with Australia. The United Arab Emirates won Group D with seven points after defeating Vietnam 3-2 on Wednesday, and will take on Iraq, which finished second in Group C.

The South Korea-Jordan showdown will take place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday (10:30 p.m. Saturday in South Korea) at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.

The U-23 championship doubles as the Asian qualifying event for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Only the top three nations will reach the Olympics, and South Korea, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, are seeking their eighth consecutive appearance at the quadrennial event.

Other quarterfinals matchups are: Qatar versus North Korea and Iran versus Japan.

Should South Korea advance to the semifinals, they will meet the winner of Qatar-North Korea matchup at 4:30 p.m. next Tuesday, local time, at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha.

In group stage, South Korea defeated Uzbekistan 2-1 and Yemen 5-0 before the draw with Iraq.

South Korean head coach Shin Tae-yong said the key against Jordan is not to give up the first goal.

"If we let them score first, we may have trouble against their tight defense the rest of the way," Shin said. "But if we can get the first goal (in the first half), we should be able to add two or three more goals in the second half."

Shin said defensive back Ahmad Hisham may be Jordan's most skilled player, while midfielders Baha' Faisal and Mahmoud Al-Mardi are also ones to watch.

"They have some players with a strong physique," Shin said. "But we've already figured out how to beat their defense."

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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