DOHA, Jan 17 (PTI): Knocked out of the competition after two heavy defeats during which they showed enough fighting abilities, India would look to end their campaign in the Asian Cup with another spirited display when they take on South Korea in their last group match here tomorrow.
India had lost their earlier two Group C matches � 0-4 against Australia and 2-5 against Bahrain � and it would be a miracle of sorts even if Bob Houghton�s boys manage a stalemate against the Asian powerhouse, who have won the title twice.
South Korea, led by Manchester United midfielder Park Ji Sung, are seeking their first title in 51 years � they last won in 1960 � and are the overwhelming favourites against India.
India, who are ranked 144th in FIFA charts as compared to their opponents� 35th place, would look for a spirited fight as they had done in their earlier two games.
Captain Bhaichung Bhutia is expected to play a part in tomorrow�s match after missing out in the earlier two encounters due to a calf injury though it is not known for how long he will play at the Al Gharafa Stadium.
�Bhaichung will start at the bench tomorrow and we will see if he can play a part in the game,� India coach Bob Houghton said.
Bhaichung�s presence is not expected to alter the outcome of the match with South Korea having shown their class with a 1-1 draw against Australia after defeating Bahrain 2-1 in their opening match.
It will be an achievement for India if they can repeat their performance tomorrow against Australia and Bahrain. India had produced better show in the second half of the two matches and even dominated the second session against Bahrain.
For India to end the tournament with some respect, they will have to defend well and not repeat the �silly mistakes� they committed against Bahrain in their second match on Friday.
With the likes of Park Ji Sung and Celtic player Cha Du Ri in red-hot form, India can ill afford to commit mistakes in the defence and concede too many goals in the first half, which was the case against Bahrain.
After a spirited show against formidable Australia, the defence had been a let down against Bahrain, committing some unwarranted mistakes without which the scoreline could have been more respectable than the 2-5. Houghton is unlikely to tinker much with the starting line-up of the game with Bhaichung expected to come in the second session tomorrow. Abhishek Yadav and Sunil Chhetri, who were in fine form against Bahrain, are likely to start as strikers.
For South Korea, captain Park Ji Sung has been in good form against Australia in his side�s opening match and will be a constant threat to Indian defence. South Korea played a high quality match against the Australians but their coach said they are not thinking of trying to score too many goals in their bid to top the group.