Korea Republic boss Uli Stielike has been impressed by the Socceroos’ form at the Asian Cup but believes victory over them on Saturday night would give his side belief they can go far in the tournament.
“If you look at the details, the statistics, Australia is the best team in the ratings of passes, of challenges, of tackling, of headers, of a lot of things,” Stielike said on Friday.
“But also, you know, the tournament after this game tomorrow will come into another phase and in another way and we will have to look at what happens from the quarter-finals.
“I think both teams are able to offer a good game.”
While both sides are a perfect two-from-two in the group stage, Ange Postecoglou’s side are in the box seat to top the group due to their superior goal difference.
Korea would need to win the match at Brisbane Stadium if they wanted to head into the last eight as the winners of Group A.
“If you aim to beat Australia at home, it will give you the conviction that you can go far in this tournament,” Stielike said.
“That’s why we have to do everything for the victory tomorrow (Saturday).”
With China assured of top spot in Group B, they loom as Korea’s most likely opponent in the quarter-finals, unless Stielike’s side can upset the host nation.
If not they will remain in Brisbane for a last-eight showdown with either Saudi Arabia or Uzbekistan.
“I don’t have any preference if it is China, Saudi Arabia or another team,” Stielike said of a potential quarter-final match-up.
“If you want to go far in this tournament you have to beat the number one or number two in the other group.”
Stielike was forced to make seven changes to his side between game one and two of the group stage after a virus ripped through the Korean squad.
But key players Koo Ja-cheol, Son Heung-min and Kim Chang-soo are all expected to return against the Socceroos.
Norway v Caltex Socceroos: 4 key match ups
Bert van Marwijk’s first match in charge as Caltex Socceroos boss sees his side take on tricky European outfit Norway at the Ullevaal Stadion on Saturday, March 24 (AEDT). With a chance for his players to stake a claim for a spot on the plane to Russia in June, it’s an importa
Ultimate Guide: Caltex Socceroos vs Norway and Colombia
Caltex Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk has assembled a 26-man squad for this month's twin friendlies that will help determine his FIFA World Cup roster. The players on show against Norway and Colombia have the chance to show the new boss what they can do as they push to squee
Elder’s FA Cup dream ended by Southampton
The fairytale run of Australian defender Callum Elder and his Wigan Athletic in England’s FA Cup is over after their quarter-final loss to Southampton on Monday morning (AEDT). Wigan, who play in League One, went down 2-0 at the DW Stadium after second-half goals from Pierre-E
Aussies Abroad: Rogic shines as Celtic held
Tom Rogic will head into Caltex Socceroos camp this week with another impressive 90 minutes under his belt as Celtic were held to a draw against Motherwell in the SPL overnight. Despite dominating the match and having double the shots at goal than their hosts, the Hoops were u