Kuwait v South Korea: Stielike's men aiming to continue quarter-final charge
Uli Stielike's South Korea kicked off their Group A campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Oman at Canberra Stadium on Saturday.
Cho Young-cheol's goal in first-half stoppage time was the difference between the two teams in Australia's capital city.
The hard-fought win left the South Koreans level on three points alongside host nation Australia heading into matchday two, with Oman and Kuwait languishing point-less after the latter were routed 4-1 on the opening night in Melbourne on Friday.
Stielike, who said he was happy to start the tournament in a tough manner, wants improvement from his side in the final third after managing six shots on target despite a total of 596 passes compared to Oman's 288.
"When you are not able to keep the ball like we weren't in the first half in the final third, then you'll always be under pressure in defence," the German said.
"That's what happened, so we can't talk about a weak defence if we are not strong enough in our offensive game.
"In second half I think we did things in a calmer way and our game improved."
Despite the close scoreline in Canberra, South Korea should expect a sterner test against the Kuwaitis when they return to the nation's capital.
Kuwait went against the script in Melbourne, taking an eighth-minute lead and threatening to spoil Australia's party.
While they were unable to keep the Australians at bay, Kuwait received admirers for their performance, which yielded five shots on target.
Oman only managed a solitary shot on goal against South Korea last week and that effort came in the 92nd minute.
Kuwait do have an injury concern with defender Hussain Fadhel - scorer of the opening goal at AAMI Park - in doubt for the clash in Canberra.
Fadhel lasted 57 minutes after succumbing to an ankle injury.
"It is very difficult to have the players who are injured return quickly to the tournament … maybe it is very difficult to prepare Hussain Fadhel for the next match," Kuwait coach Nabil Maaloul said.
History is against Kuwait in fixtures between the nations, with South Korea winning the five previous encounters, scoring 13 goals and conceding just one.