South Korea vs. Japan: What to Watch for in Epic Olympic Bronze Medal Showdown
South Korea and Japan will face off on Friday in London in the men's soccer bronze-medal match.
The winner will head home from the 2012 Olympic Games with some hardware to show for their hard work, while the loser will go home empty-handed.
There will certainly be plenty to watch for when these two Asian powerhouses take to the field.
Here's what to keep an eye out for on Friday.
The 22-year-old Japanese midfielder leads the team in goals scored at the Games this summer with three. Considering that Japan has only scored six times as a team at the Olympics in London, Otsu's production is deserving of some applause, and makes him a player to watch for on Friday.
Otsu was the only Japanese player to score in the squad's semifinal loss to Mexico on Tuesday. Otsu gave Japan a 1-0 lead over the Mexicans in the 12th minute, and will be a threat to do the same vs. South Korea in the bronze-medal match.
South Korea's Attack
The South Korean attack has been pitiful this summer, to say the least. The Koreans have scored just three times in five matches in London. I can't imagine them suddenly finding their rhythm against Japan, especially considering how superb the Japanese defense has played throughout the tournament.
Kim Bo-Kyung and the South Korean attackers will need to dig deep to find some magic against Japan. Fans should watch to see how the Korean offense responds to recent struggles in Olympic play.
Before the floodgates opened up against Mexico in Tuesday's semifinal, the Japanese had not allowed a single goal through four matches at the London Games. Their defensive presence in front of the net was a huge reason why they made a deep run all the way to the semifinal, and largely why they will be favored to win the bronze medal on Friday.
I think Japan's defense will be the biggest thing to watch for on Friday, as the team looks to shut out the South Koreans en route to a podium finish. Japan has four shutouts in five games in London, and a fifth one is on the horizon.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter For More Reaction on the 2012 London Olympics This Summer.
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