With two losses and key players injured, South Korean fans have mixed feelings about the decisive game against Germany slated for Wednesday 11 p.m.
“Our third or last opponent #Germany. Our only answer is victory!” said a Twitter user. Other tweets expressed how they will pray for a miracle.
Another user was not optimistic, “I have already given up. Just hope that Germany does not win by 7:0.” The users also posted about how they were betting on foreign-based betting sites that Germany would win by 7:0 rather than place their hopes on S. Korea.
South Korean soccer fans cheer in support for Team Korea against the match with Mexico in Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on June 23. (Yonhap)
In order to advance to the knockout stage, Korea must beat Germany by at least two goals and have Mexico beat Sweden by two goals or more.
According to Soccer Power Index, Korea has a 1 percent chance to advance to the second round of the World Cup and a 5 percent probability of winning while Germany has an 81 percent chance. There is a 14 percent chance of a tie.
Probabilities of South Korea vs Germany match on SPI (Soccer Power Index)
To make things tougher, Germany is ranked first out of 211 in the FIFA world ranking while Korea is placed in 57th.
Korea also faces more difficulties as the Swansea midfielder Ki Sung-yeung was ruled out with a left calf injury. Ki is the team’s most experienced player since he had 104 appearances with the national team. Defender Park Joo-ho is also unable to join the game due to a hamstring injury.
“We have a 1 percent chance. It will be our last-ditch effort,” said Shin Tae-yong, the Korean head coach. Several tweets blaming the coach for his incompetency continuously emerged ahead of the make-or-break match.
On the other hand, the four-time World Cup champion Germany is at risk of not advancing to the second round for the first time since 1938. Even if the German team defeats Korea, it could still be out if Sweden wins and the final results play out with Germany winning 1-0 and Sweden winning 2-1 against Mexico. Other scenarios could occur depending on who scores more goals in their final group games.
“We have to win if possible with two goals difference,” said Joachim Low, head coach of the German team.
Both teams have to win to get a spot in the second round.
By Chyung Eun-ju (email@example.com