Football: S Korea make seven changes for Kuwait clash

Football: S Korea make seven changes for Kuwait clash
The South Korea team pose for a photo before the Asian Cup Group A soccer match against Kuwait at the Canberra stadium in Canberra January 13, 2015.

CANBERRA - South Korea coach Uli Stielike made seven changes to his starting lineup for Tuesday's match with Kuwait where victory would make his side the first through to the Asian Cup quarter-finals.

Injury ruled out five of the side that beat Oman, with the attacking trio of Son Heung-min (fever), Koo Ja-cheol and Lee Chung-yong (shin) among those unavailable for the Group A match in Canberra.

Lee is set to miss the remainder of the tournament in Australia after suffering a hairline fracture of his shin in the opening 1-0 win over Oman on Saturday.

Striker Cho Young-cheol scored the winning goal against the Omanis but was dropped to the short-handed seven-man bench for Tuesday's clash with concerns about a slight injury.

Former AFC Player of the Year Lee Keun-ho took the striker's place with Kim Min-woo, Lee Myeong-joo and Nam Tae-hee providing the creativity behind.

The central midfielder duo of Park Joo-ho and Ki Sung-yueng kept their places but the tinkering Stielike shuffled his defence despite an opening clean sheet.

Centreback Kim Ju-young was dropped in favour of Kim Young-gwon, while Kim Seung-gyu started in goal at the expense of Kim Jin-hyeon.

Experienced fullback Cha Du-ri starts as Kim Chang-soo is still suffering a thigh injury that forced him off after 18 minutes against Oman.

The 34-year-old Cha, the oldest South Korean to compete at an Asian Cup, was wary of a wounded Kuwait, who were thumped 4-1 by hosts Australia on Friday after taking an early lead. "After losing such a game, Kuwait will come into our match with a different spirit and are sure to be very aggressive," the heavily tattooed FC Seoul defender said. "After playing the first game you begin to catch the rhythm of the game and you start to get used to the tournament, so I guess it will be a totally different game from the first game that they played." Kuwait coach Nabil Maaloul made a more conservative four changes, with Yousef Naser and Abdullah Al-Buraiki offering more attacking flair, while Fahad Awad and Amer Al-Matoug were brought in to shore up the backline.

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