South Korea vs Bahrain

Doha’s Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium is the venue as South Korea and Bahrain go head-to-head in their opening Asian Cup Group E encounter.

South Korea’s pursuit of their first Asian Cup title since 1960 begins against a foe they last defeated in the previous tournament, running out 2-1 extra-time victors in the round of 16. The ‘Taegeuk Warriors’ come into proceedings in high spirits after winning six internationals on the spin. What’s more impressive, each of those six victories saw Jurgen Klinsmann’s side keep a clean sheet, with four yielding 3+ goal margins. That run includes a pair of thumping wins against Singapore and China at the start of their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign, both of which witnessed the Koreans get on the scoresheet on either side of halftime.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s sixth consecutive Asian Cup campaign commences in the midst of a rough patch, with Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side losing three straight matches by 2+ goals ‘to nil’ in the build-up to the tournament. After three successive group-stage eliminations, Bahrain finally reached the knockout stages in the previous Asian Cup edition. But they must get off to a flying start to replicate that feat against none other than South Korea, a nation that defeated them in their last two Asian Cup H2Hs. Breaking the deadlock could be a way to go, considering Bahrain’s three most recent victories have come ‘to nil,’ including a 2-0 battering of Yemen in their opening 2026 World Cup qualifier.

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