South Korea captain Sung-yueng Ki will miss their must-win clash with Germany on Wednesday due to a calf injury.
Shin Tae-yong’s side have lost their opening two matches at this summer’s World Cup, but they can still advance through to the knockout stages if they beat reigning champions Germany in Kazan and Mexico secure a victory over Sweden.
However, South Korea’s slim hopes of progression have now been dealt a blow as skipper Ki has been ruled out of the Germany clash due to the calf injury he picked up in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Mexico.
The Swansea midfielder, who will leave the Liberty Stadium when his contract expires at the end of this month, reportedly left the Rostov Arena on crutches following the defeat and a national team official has now revealed he will miss the match against Germany as a result.
“A medical inspection at a hospital showed that Ki damaged his left calf muscle,” Yonhap News quoted an official as saying. “He needs two weeks of treatment.”
South Korea have only twice before made it beyond the group stage at a World Cup, with their best performance by far coming when they reached the semi-finals on home soil in 2002.
It was Germany who ended their run at that tournament and Die Mannschaft, who are also in desperate need of the points to boost their chances of reaching the knockout stages, are priced at 1.18 to win Wednesday’s contest, while South Korea are available at 15.00 and the draw is on offer at 7.00.