SOUTH Korea coach Uli Stielike said yesterday that he would "take the fall" for poor results that have put the country's hopes of automatic qualification for next year's World Cup finals in jeopardy, although he stopped short of resigning.
Of a total of four away games played throughout the group matches, Korea has now worsened their record at one tie and three losses.
Pic: ReutersDOHA: World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar beat South Korea 3-2 on Tuesday to keep alive their slim hopes of reaching next year's finals in Russian Federation as they bid to avoid becoming the first host nation to have never before qualified for the tournament.
Qatar is set to host the 2022 World Cup finals.
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"I have to say this is not my decision, we have to wait and see", he said.
On the field, Qatar's Hasan Al Haydos scored the victor 16 minutes from time in the win that keeps their hopes alive of a third-place finish in Group A and a shot at the playoffs.
Korean newspapers called for Steilike to go.
There is not yet a timescale on Son's injury, but he should be fit for South Korea's crucial double header against Iran, who have already qualified, and Uzbekistan in late August and early September, although he is doubt for the start of Spurs' preseason, which begins in early July.
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"Stielike deceived fans. It's high time for him to leave", a Sports Seoul headline read. But they missed their opportunity to extend their gap over Uzbekistan, barely maintaining the position with a one-point lead.
The Blue Samurai play Australia and the Saudis in their final two games in what is shaping up as a high-pressure climax to qualifying.
"We're just holding on to second place, and the general feeling around the KFA is that even if we do qualify for the World Cup, we won't be so competitive if we play the way we have", Yonhap quoted an unnamed "high-ranking" Korean FA official as saying on Wednesday.
Marcello Lippi's China also had a night to forget when an injury-time equaliser consigned them to a 2-2 draw with Syria, putting them on the verge of elimination.
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