Fri. Oct 30th, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) — South Korea will play Qatar in their second men’s football friendly match of November, a chance to avenge a knockout loss at a continental tournament in 2019.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced Tuesday that the 39th-ranked South Korea and the 55th-ranked Qatar will square off in a neutral site in Austria on Nov. 17. The exact kickoff time has not yet been set, and the KFA said it could either be 3 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. local time, which would be 10 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. in South Korea. The stadium will also be announced later.

The match fits into the Nov. 9-17 FIFA international window. South Korea will also play Mexico on Nov. 14 in Austria.

Qatar are the reigning Asian Cup champions and the next hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. South Korea have the edge in head-to-head meetings with four wins, two draws and three losses, but Qatar have won the past two matches. Most recently, Qatar knocked off South Korea 1-0 at the 2019 Asian Cup quarterfinals en route to the title.

These two matches in Austria will be the first international contests for South Korea in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on sporting calendars around the world, and World Cup qualifying matches scheduled for South Korea this year have all been pushed back to 2021.

Coached by Paulo Bento, South Korea recently played two exhibition matches against the under-23 national team and prevailed 5-3 on the aggregate score.

Because of the mandatory quarantine period for inbound travelers to South Korea during the pandemic, Bento didn’t call up any of South Korea’s biggest names in Europe, such as Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min, for the two exhibitions.

For November matches, Son and Co. will be available for their first national team appearances of the year.

Son is in especially fine form. He’s currently tied for the Premier League lead with six goals after four matches.

By Bureau