Abu Dhabi: Brazil have promised to go all out to make amends for last weekend’s loss against arch-rivals Argentina as they meet Asian giants South Korea in a friendly at Al Jazira’s Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.
Argentina rode on a 14th minute penalty from Lionel Messi to hand Brazil their second loss in the past five matches as part of their Global Tour, in Saudi Arabia, last Saturday.
South Korea are one of the few teams that have won against the mighty Brazil in the past. The Brazilians’ form has been far from satisfactory as they go into a sixth match with no wins in last five — three draws and a couple of losses following their triumph in the 2019 Copa America earlier this year. However, they have been far more consistent against South Korea in winning four and losing that one friendly by a solitary goal way back in March 1999.
“We need to take one match at a time. Tomorrow, it is against one of the best teams of Asia and we’ve to do everything possible to ensure we have a favourable result. We have been putting in a lot of hard work out there, and there is no doubt about this. Things will start coming together at some point,” head coach Tite said at the pre-match press conference.
“If you ask me, I am not at all happy with this team’s results. We have not been playing really well and I am trying to understand what is happening. For sure, we are in the process of rebuilding this team. I think we’ve experienced too many ups and downs. But we’ve been putting in the hard work and the progress will be seen sooner or later,” he added.
Brazil will be without the services of their star striker Neymar due to injury, backup goalkeeper Ederson and winger David Neres, but Tite will still try and iron out the flaws following the loss to Argentina.
South Korea should be entering Tuesday’s match with a lot of confidence after going on a nine-match unbeaten streak. They’ve won five and drawn four — their last encounter a goalless draw against Lebanon — but what is far more important is that they have not conceded in their last four matches.
Paulo Bento’s squad is being headlined by Tottenham star Son Heung-min and Valencia prospect Lee Kang-in, but they will miss Hong Chul and Park Ji-soo, who are recovering from injuries. “We’ve played some tough teams like Chile and Colombia. But this is Brazil, one of the best teams in the world. We will do the best we can,” Bento admitted.
“We’ve played a lot of teams in Asia and we’ve always dominated and controlled. But tomorrow will be different for us. And therein will lie the challenge for us to grow as a team,” he added.
CATCH THE MATCH
Kick-off: November 19, 5.30pm
Venue: Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium (Al Jazira Club) Abu Dhabi
Tickets: At venue on match day
Television: Globo, SporTV (Brazil); beIN SPORTS
Live-stream: beIN SPORTS Connect, bet365