We’ve reached the semi-final stage of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. We look ahead to the match at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan with our Jordan vs South Korea prediction and preview.
Jordan vs South Korea: Pre-Match Facts
- The Opta supercomputer predicts that South Korea are the most likely side to progress to the final of the 2023 Asian Cup, as they won 55.9% of the pre-match simulations inside 90 minutes compared to 21.7% by Jordan.
- This will be the third meeting between Jordan and South Korea at the AFC Asian Cup. Both of their previous meetings have ended level, including a 2-2 draw in the group stage earlier in this tournament.
- This will be the fourth edition of the AFC Asian Cup in which South Korea have faced same opponent twice in a single edition of the tournament. Two of the previous three were final defeats (1980 vs Kuwait and 2015 vs Australia), with the other a third-place playoff win over China in 2000.
- Jordan have become the 16th different nation to reach a semi-final of the AFC Asian Cup, and the first new side at this stage since Australia and Uzbekistan did so in 2011. Neither of those nations went on to win the competition, though Australia reached the final.
- South Korea have been in a losing position in four of their five games at the 2023 AFC Asian Cup so far – as often as in their previous 23 games from 2007 to 2019. They have won just one of eight games they were behind in (excluding penalty shootouts), with that coming in the last round against Australia (2-1 AET).
- Jordan have won three games within a single edition of an AFC Asian Cup for the first time ever. They have also scored 10 goals across a single edition of the tournament for the first time, one more than they managed across the two previous editions combined.
- Son Heung-min has scored seven goals in the AFC Asian Cup since his debut in the 2011 edition. Only two players scored more in this period – Qatar’s Almoez Ali (10) and UAE’s Ali Mabkhout (9). He has played more games (17) than any other player for South Korea in the competition.
Jordan’s journey to the Asian Cup semi-finals has been marked by some impressive performances. In the group stage, they showcased their prowess with a commanding 4-0 victory against Malaysia and a hard-fought 2-2 draw against South Korea. A 1-0 triumph over Bahrain in their final group match solidified their place in the knockout stage.
Their last-16 clash was arguably one of the most dramatic seen at the tournament so far as they won 3-2 against Iraq in normal time, despite trailing as late as the 94th minute. With Iraq down to 10 men, Jordan capitalised with an equaliser from Yazan Al-Arab in the 95th minute and a winner two minutes later from Nizar Al-Rashdan. Less drama was on display in their quarter-final as they squeezed past Tajikistan by a single goal – an own goal in the 66th minute by Vahdat Hanonov – to reach the AFC Asian Cup semis for the first time ever.
Drawing inspiration from their earlier 2-2 deadlock against South Korea in the group stage, Jordan can enter the semi-final with confidence they can match it against a familiar foe. However, the absence of striker Ali Olwan and defender Salem Al-Ajalin due to suspension adds an extra challenge at both ends of the pitch.
With Olwan Jordan’s leading player for successful take-ons in the final third (12), much of the attacking threat will be placed on the shoulders of Mousa Tamari out on the right wing. Al-Ajalin, whose been deployed in every match at the tournament in the left centre-back role, will be missed within the backline as a great option to build attacks on the left side, where he’s consistently linked up with winger Mahmoud Al Mardi.
South Korea’s journey to the semis has been characterised by resilience and heroics late on in matches. They started the tournament well with a 3-1 win over Bahrain, before two draws against Jordan (2-2) and Malaysia (3-3) saw them finish second in Group E. Despite this, they did finish the group stage with eight goals – a tally no other side could do better than.
Finishing second in the group handed them a tricky last-16 tie with Saudi Arabia, where they looked to be heading out until Cho Gue-sung’s equaliser in the 99th minute. They held out in extra time, before dispatching of the Saudis 4-2 in a penalty shootout to set up a quarter-final meeting with Australia.
They again did it the hard way as they advanced past the Socceroos, conceding first and only equalising deep into added time at the end of the match via a Hwang Hee-chan penalty. It was Son Heung-min who ended as the hero on this occasion, with his exceptional free kick in extra time sending South Korea into the semis.
With South Korea already being taken to extra time twice in this tournament, they could do without the same again. Tottenham forward Son has played every single minute of their campaign so far, being on the pitch for 601 minutes, including all added time across their five matches – the most by a player at this tournament. His three goals are level-best for South Korea at this tournament alongside Lee Kang-in, with the 22-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star the leading chance creator at the Asian Cup so far (17).
Jürgen Klinsmann will have to do without talismanic centre-back Kim Min-jae for this game, however. The Bayern Munich defender is suspended, with Son’s leadership even more important with such a senior figure of the squad out of action for this crucial tie.
Jordan vs South Korea Head-to-Head
Their AFC Asian Cup 2023 group stage meeting was the first international between South Korea and Jordan in nearly 10 years, after previously playing a friendly match in November 2014.
The group stage game between these two nations ended 2-2, with Son opening the scoring from a ninth-minute penalty kick. Jordan took a shock 2-1 lead into half-time, however, following an own goal via Park Yong-woo and a first-half injury time strike from forward Yazan Al-Naimat. They nearly hung on for a crucial victory, but South Korea forced an added time equaliser via an Yazan Al-Arab own goal.
A point was more than deserved for South Korea based on the match stats, with them attempting nearly twice as many shots as Jordan (23 vs 12) and posting a much higher expected goals (xG) total overall (2.15 vs 0.27).
Jordan vs South Korea Prediction
South Korea are the favourites to progress to the AFC Asian Cup 2023 final in this tie with the Opta supercomputer. The Taegeuk Warriors won 55.9% of the 10,000 pre-match simulations inside 90 minutes – something South Korea would surely be happy with having to go through extra time in each of the last two rounds.
Jordan won just over one-in-five of the simulations ahead of kick-off (21.7%) and are the tournament outsiders among the four teams left at this Asian Cup in Qatar.
Jordan vs South Korea Squads
Jordan: Abdallah Al Fakhouri, Ahmad Al Juaidi, Yazeed Abulaila, Salem Al Ajalin, Anas Bani Yaseen, Ehsan Haddad, Mohammad Abu Hasheesh, Feras Shilbaya, Yazan Al Arab, Mohannad Abu Taha, Bara’a Marie, Abdallah Nasib, Mohammad Abu Zraiq, Raja’ei Ayed, Mahmoud Al Mardi, Nizar Al Rashdan, Fadi Awad, Yousef Abu Jalboush, Noor Al Rawabdeh, Saleh Ratib, Ibrahim Saadeh, Hamza Al Dardour, Ali Olwan, Yazan Al Naimat, Anas Al Awadat, Mousa Tamari.
Coach: Hussein Ammouta
South Korea: Jo Hyeon-woo, Song Bum-keun, Kim Seung-gyu, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Tae-hwan, Kim Min-jae, Jung Seung-hyun, Kim Jin-su, Kim Ju-sung, Lee Ki-je, Kim Ji-soo, Seol Young-woo, Hwang In-beom, Lee Kang-in, Hong Hyun-seok, Lee Jae-sung, Lee Soon-min, Jeong Woo-yeong, Park Jin-seop, Park Yong-woo, Moon Seon-min, Hwang Hee-chan, Yang Hyun-jun, Oh Hyeon-gyu, Cho Gue-sung, Son Heung-min.
Coach: Jürgen Klinsmann