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Thailand 2020 - Final: Five Facts and Figures

Saturday, January 25, 2020
Korea Rep v Saudi Arabia

Bangkok: The AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 final between Korea Republic and Saudi promises to be a thriller.

The final, at Bangkok's iconic Rajamangala Stadium, will be between two of the tournament's most in-form teams with Korea Republic taking a record of five wins from as many matches into the decider with Saudi Arabia having registered four triumphs and one draw.

Join as we take a look at five interesting facts and figures ahead of the decider.

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First meeting

Sunday's final will be the first time Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia will face off in the AFC U23 Championship.

The Saudis were runners-up in the inaugural edition while Korea Republic emerged second in 2016, with fourth place finishes in 2013/14 and 2018.

THE #AFCU23 FINAL: 🇰🇷 🆚 🇸🇦

🏆 Who's going home with the trophy?

— #AFCU23 (@theafcdotcom) January 22, 2020

Saudi Arabia did not progress past the group stage in the last two editions but will head into the final basking in the knowledge their U-19 squad defeated Korea Republic 2-1 in the final of the 2018 AFC U-19 Championship.

Hassan Al Tambakti captained that squad with strikers Khalid Al Ghannam and Feras Al Birakan with defender Saud Abdulhamid having also played pivotal roles in that triumph.

Strikers Um Won-sang and Oh Se-hun were in the Korea Republic U-19 squad.

Goal threats

Korea Republic will head into the final with a tournament total of nine goals scored with four players - Cho Gue-sung (pictured above), Lee Dong-gyeong, Oh Se-hun and Lee Dong-jun - having two each to their names. Kim Dae-won was their other scorer.

Saudi Arabia's five goals, meanwhile, were scored by five different players - Ayman Al-Khulaif, Abdulrahman Ghareeb, Feras Al-Birakan, Abdullah Al-Hamdan and Nasser Al Omran. 

Korea Republic registered 33 shots on target en route to the final while Saudi Arabia have a tally of 17.

#AFCU23 - MD1 Group B: Japan 1-2 Saudi Arabia

Clean sheets

While Korea Republic were more prolific in terms of goals scored, Saudi Arabia proved to be a hard nut to crack as they conceded only once on their way to the final - in their opening Group B match against Japan which the West Asians won 2-1.

Korea Republic, despite their perfect record of five wins, conceded once each against Islamic Republic of Iran and Uzbekistan in the group stage with Jordan also breaching their defence in the quarter-finals.

Rotation Policy

Korea Republic head coach Kim Hak-bum stressed repeatedly throughout the tournament of the strength in depth he possesses and the stats prove that, with 21 of the 23 players in the squad having seen action in the tournament.

Saudi Arabia, however, are not lagging far behind with head coach Saad Al Shehri having called upon 20 of his 23 players.

It is apparent, however, that Saudi Arabia are built around four players with defenders Saud Abdulhamid, Abdulbaset Al-Hindi, Hassan Al Tambakti and goalkeeper Mohammed Al Yami all having played every minute of their campaign.

Goalkeeper Song Bum-keun is the only Korea Republic player to have featured in all matches, clocking 450 minutes of playing time with midfielder Won Du-jae and defender Lee Sang-min (both on 360 minutes) the next most utilised players.

Pass masters

Having featured in every minute of Saudi Arabia's campaign, defender Abdulbaset Al-Hindi is the team's pass master with 269 successful passes from 323 attempts.

Midfielder Won Du-jae (pictured above) is Korea Republic's top passer of the ball, with 205 successful passes from a total of 245.

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