Latvia and South Korea will meet each other on February 3 for an international friendly match. The kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. GMT at Mardan Stadium in Antalya, Turkey, reports FootballDrug.
South Korea traveled to Turkey in January to play training matches against Moldova, Jamaica, and Latvia. South Korea won their first friendly against Moldova on January 27. Shin-Wook Kim scored the only goal of the night, as the Taeguk warriors started their training with a win.
The team led by head coach Shin Tae-Yong was held to a 2-2 draw by Jamaica in their second friendly match. Dane Kelly opened the scoring for Jamaica just four minutes after the kickoff. South Korea looked threatening throughout the first period but couldn’t find the equalizer.
Shin-Wook Kim scored a brace early in the second half to give a 2-1 lead to the warriors. Nathanael Foster leveled the game in the 72nd minute with a stunning goal from outside the box as the match ended in a draw.
Latvia lost to Kosovo in their last international friendly match. Kosovo came back from a losing position on three separate occasions to make the scoreline 3-3. Rashani got the third goal for the home side in the 86th minute.
Aleksandrs Starkovs pirms mača pret ???????? norāda, ka mūsu futbolisti ir gatavi izmantot doto iespēju apliecināt sevi izlasē, savukārt nometnē Turcijā tika daudz strādāts, lai komandai būtu vienota izpratne par spēles situācijām!
— Futbola federācija (@kajbumba) February 3, 2018
Kosovo looked committed in the dying minutes of the game, and their hard work paid off as they found a late goal to win the match. Besar Halimi tapped in home two minutes into the stoppage time as the home side celebrated with jubilation.
Latvia has won only one of their last five competitive matches (D1 L3), a 4-0 win over Andorra in the World Cup Qualifiers.
South Korea has won three of their last five matches, including the friendlies (D2). The Taeguk Warriors qualified for the World Cup 2018 last year, and they have drawn Germany, Mexico, and Sweden in Group F.
KFA is trying to schedule friendlies against opponents from Europe and Central America to prepare for the biggest tournament in football.
Korea and Latvia have faced each other only once before in a friendly match in January 2010. South Korea dominated for most of the first half but couldn’t find a goal to show for their effort.
Kim Jae-Sung tapped in home late into the game to give the South Koreans a 1-0 lead. After the ball had come off a Latvia defender’s leg, Jae-Sung responded quickly and poked it home as South Korea registered a win in this international friendly match.
Team News (Injuries And Suspension)
Both of the coaches will be looking to rotate the squad and give some minutes to the youngsters. Head coach Shin Tae-Yong will be keeping an eye on all of his players, as he has to pick the best squad for the World Cup in Russia.
There are no any major injury concerns for both the teams. Latvian head coach Aleksandrs Starkovs has a full squad at his disposal. Ja-Cheol Koo is the only player doubtful for the away side.
Striker Shin-Wook Kim has already scored three goals in his last two games, including a brace in the 2-2 draw with Jamaica three days ago.
Latvia Vs. South Korea Predicted Lineups
Maksimenko (LB), Kolesovs (CB), Oss (CB), Zulevs (RB)
Jurkovskis (CM), Hmizs (CDM), Kazacoks (CM)
Ikaunieks (LF), Gauracs (CF), Indrans (RF)
South Korea (4-4-2)
Choi (RB), Jang (CB), Yun (CB), J. Kim (LB)
Lee (CM), Jung (CDM), Son (CDM), C. Lee (CM)
Lee (CF), Kim (CF)
South Korea Vs. Latvia Prediction
South Korea is 59th in the World FIFA rankings while Latvia is 131th. Latvia might give fierce competition but South Korea has established themselves in the football world, and if we are to judge by their prominence, Latvia should be no match for them.
Prediction: 3-1 to South Korea.