Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea national soccer team will take on Singapore in the first match of Group C of the second Asian qualifying round for the 2023 FIFA World Cup North America on Saturday, kicking off at 8 p.m. at Seoul World Cup Stadium.
Since Klinsmann’s appointment, the team has played eight friendlies, but this will be their first real test against Singapore. In Group C, South Korea (24th in the FIFA rankings) will face China (79th), Thailand (112th), and Singapore (155th). The top two teams will advance to the third qualifying round. South Korea, led by Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan, Kim Min-jae, and Lee Kang-in, is objectively the favorite to finish first and advance to the third round.
Klinsmann is wary of letting his guard down “World Cup qualifying is a long journey. You have to start well,” he said, adding, “I don’t think (Singapore) are underdogs by any means. “I don’t think (Singapore) are underdogs at all, but we need to prepare seriously and carefully rather than thinking ‘we’ll win’.레모나토토
The Koreans hold a commanding 21-3-2 record against Singapore. Singapore, ranked 155th in the FIFA rankings, is significantly outclassed in terms of objective power, so it is likely that they will drop their back line and play a ‘dense defense’ or ‘net defense’ against Korea. In response, captain Son Heung-min said, “It’s always difficult to play against a team that focuses on defense. “The Vietnam game was a big plus (for us),” said captain Son Heung-min, noting that the key is when the first goal comes.
In an exhibition match against Vietnam at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on March 17, Klinsmann’s men scored six goals and won convincingly. The game was one-sided and lacked excitement, but the spectacular goal fireworks made the crowd cheer and get excited.
If the Koreans don’t let their guard down against Singapore and take advantage of their early chances and score the first goal, they could go one better than Vietnam. Right now, Korea’s offense is considered to be the best ever.
Lee Kang-in ⓒ Reporter Bang Kyu-hyun, The Korea Herald
Captain Son Heung-min became Tottenham’s “No. 0” striker after Harry Kane’s transfer to Bayern Munich (Germany). Since the October A match, he has scored two goals (one assist) in four English Premier League (EPL) games. He also rattled the net against Chelsea despite being ruled offside. Son is scoring 0.67 goals per game (8 goals in 12 games), which is reminiscent of his 2021-22 season (0.66 goals in 35 games) when he was the top scorer.
Hwang Hee-chan has been just as fiery as Son Heung-min (8 goals), who is third on the team in scoring. In 12 EPL games, he has six shots on target and six goals. With his fearsome decision-making, Hwang is sixth in the EPL scoring race. He had recorded offensive points (three goals and two assists) in five consecutive games before the 2-1 win over Tottenham on Nov. 11. On October 14, he was named the club’s Player of the Month.
Lee, who won a gold medal at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, scored goals in two consecutive October A matches, including his debut goal in Tunisia and Vietnam. Back at PSG, he scored against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League and formed a fantastic partnership with ‘ace’ Kylian Mbappe. In a month, he played six games for PSG, scoring two goals and providing one assist.
European strikers on fire. It’s a matchup that should excite soccer fans who want to see fiery attacking soccer.