Son Heung-min (31) spearheads the breakdown of a tight defense.
Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea national soccer team will kick off the first leg of their Asian qualifying campaign for the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026 at 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
The 155th-ranked Singaporeans are far behind the 24th-ranked Koreans in the FIFA rankings. South Korea leads the all-time series with 21 wins, three draws and two losses. The last meeting was 33 years ago. South Korea won 7-0 at the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing. South Korea is expected to win comfortably, but it could be surprisingly tough if Singapore counter with extreme defensive tactics.
Klinsmann also emphasized that Singapore is no underdog. At the pre-match press conference the day before, Klinsmann, who was accompanied by captain Son Heung-min, emphasized that the recent 2-0 victory of Singapore club team Ryan City over K League club Jeonbuk Hyundai in the Asian Champions League (ACL) was a “warning” to the team.
“Singapore is not an underdog by any means. I was there in Singapore to watch them beat Jeonbuk. I took it as a warning to our national team. We need to prepare more seriously,” he warned. He added that they need to be wary of Singapore’s counterattacks and set plays. “We’ve done our player analysis. We have players who can score from counterattacks and set plays,” he added.
Son Heung-min is also determined not to fall victim to the upsets. “We start the World Cup qualifiers in Sangam, and it’s important to start well. In fact, there are no easy games (in the World Cup qualifiers). We are preparing well to avoid any upsets,” he said.
“Speaking as someone who plays soccer, it’s not easy to play against any team when they play defense,” he said. “In this situation, it’s important to take advantage of your chances early.” He continued, “We won the last game in Vietnam.
“I think our last game against Vietnam (6-0) helped us. But there are no right answers in soccer because every game is played in a different environment. We’ll have to wait and see what style Singapore will bring to the table. It will definitely be a different style from the one against Vietnam.”
“I hope we can take advantage of our chances in the early stages and make it easy for ourselves, and then we will score a lot of goals because we have a lot of talented players,” said Son Heung-min. “One thing is for sure, defensive teams are not easy to break through. The players are aware of this and are always studying.”
Son Heung-min and Klinsmann have a common strategy for victory: score early. In the previous match against Vietnam, Kim Min-jae’s goal in the fifth minute of the first half sparked a 6-0 victory. 무지개토토
As Son Heung-min said, the national team is full of players who can score goals. In addition to Son Heung-min, who is one of the best goal-scorers in the English Premier League (EPL), there is also Hwang Hee-chan, the spearhead of Wolverhampton’s attack, Lee Kang-in, who has been pouring in attacking points for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), and Oh Hyun-gyu, who recently scored multiple goals for Celtic.