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Asian Cup Quarter-Final Preview: South Korea v Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan will be out for revenge in their Asian Cup quarter-final against South Korea on Thursday.

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Uzbekistan coach Mirjalol Kasimov has boldly promised that his side will beat South Korea in their Asian Cup quarter-final in Melbourne.

The Uzbeks will head into Thursday's clash striving for revenge after their bid to reach the 2014 World Cup was thwarted by South Korea.

Uzbekistan lost their penultimate qualifier for Brazil 2014 in Seoul, in June 2013.

South Korea's 1-0 win meant that they did just enough to edge Uzbekistan - by goal difference of one - to automatically go through to the showpiece, despite Kasimov's side thrashing Qatar 5-1 in their final qualifier.

That forced Uzbekistan into a two-legged play-off against Jordan for the right to play Uruguay and they were beaten, ending their World Cup dreams.

So the chance to face off against South Korea in a knockout last-eight clash is appealing to the Uzbeks, with Kasimov insistent his side would get payback.

"We promise to beat Korea," Kasimov said after Uzbekistan reached the quarter-finals on Sunday.

"We always think about losing to Korea in the World Cup qualifiers and I think the players will do their best.

"It will be an interesting game.

"I am happy with them [players]. If we play like this in all the games, we will reach a high level."

Uzbekistan, ranked 71st in the world, beat Saudi Arabia 3-1 in Melbourne on Sunday as Sardor Rashidov bagged a brace.

They beat North Korea 1-0 in their opening clash, meaning a 2-1 defeat to China - who will play hosts Australia in Thursday's other quarter-final - did not stop them from reaching the knockout stages.

Uzbekistan reached the semi-finals of the 2011 Asian Cup before being thrashed 6-0 by Australia.

South Korea will undoubtedly enter the contest as favourites, but at 69th in the FIFA rankings, are only just above their opponents.

Uli Stielike's side won all three of their Group A matches 1-0, with Saturday's triumph against the Socceroos particularly impressive.

Their defensive organisation and shape means Uzbekistan will need to be at their best to score and Swansea City midfielder Ki Sung-yueng said the fact his team are tough to break down, gives them confidence.

"We haven't conceded any goals in three games," Ki said.

"So defensively we can take a lot of confidence. Offensively, we can maybe create more chances."

Goalkeeper Kim Jin-hyeon is also in good form, and made a string of excellent saves against Australia.

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