Doha (Qatar), Dec 4 (IANS) South Korea and Brazil, the knockout round opponents at the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup, are keeping a low profile on Saturday, two days before their showdown in Qatar.
South Korea, moments after qualifying for the Round of 16 with a 2-1 victory over Portugal on Friday evening, announced they would have a rest day on Saturday. It is South Korea’s second off day since their training camp opened in Doha on Nov. 14. The Taegeuk Warriors also did not train on Nov. 20, the opening day of the competition.
Meanwhile, Brazil had a training session closed to the media Saturday afternoon in Doha, according to the official team schedule provided by FIFA. Teams may choose to open the first 15 minutes or the entirety of their training sessions to the media or work out behind the closed gates.
Brazil, like South Korea, finished their group play Friday. They lost to Cameroon 1-0 but still won Group G to set up a date with South Korea, who finished runners-up to Portugal in Group H, reports Yonhap.
Their Round of 16 match will be played Monday at Stadium 974 in Doha.
South Korea, world No. 28, have beaten top-ranked Brazil just once in seven previous meetings. Most recently, in a friendly match in June in Seoul, Brazil hammered South Korea 5-1. It was Brazil’s biggest margin of victory over South Korea and the five goals were also the most Selecao have scored against South Korea.
Both teams have injury issues, with Brazil a bit worse off with their superstar Neymar having only appeared in one match with an ankle injury.
Danilo and Alex Sandro have suffered an ankle and a hip injury, respectively, and sat out the Cameroon match. Two of the players in that game, Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus, complained of knee pains afterward.
For South Korea, center-back Kim Min-Jae, who picked up a right calf injury in the opening match against Uruguay, missed the Portugal contest. He could be ready by Monday against Brazil after a few extra days of rest and treatment.
Midfielder Hwang Hee-chan, who missed the first two Korean matches, returned with a bang against Portugal, as he scored the thrilling winning goal in the second half stoppage time.