The South Korean men’s national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, will take the first step toward qualifying for their 11th consecutive World Cup. First qualifying match at home against Singapore.
Klinsmann’s men will take on Singapore at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the first match of Group C of the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026 Asian Zone Second Qualifying Round. Singapore, ranked 155th in the FIFA rankings, is far below the 24th-ranked South Korea.
This will be Klinsmann’s first game in charge of the team. After failing to gain the full support of fans since his arrival in March, Klinsmann has turned things around, going unbeaten (3 wins, 1 draw) in his last four matches.
South Korea was placed in Group C alongside Singapore, China, and Thailand in the second round of qualifying in Asia. In the second round of qualifying, teams must finish in the top two to advance to the third round. They will also qualify for the 2027 Asian Cup in Saudi Arabia.
The third qualifying round, which will feature 18 nations divided into three groups of six, will begin next September.
The number of qualifying nations has risen to 48 since the North and Central American World Cup. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has been allocated a total of 8.5 tickets, which will be awarded to the second-place finishers in each group in the third qualifying round. The remaining 2.5 spots will be awarded through the fourth and fifth rounds of qualifying and continental playoffs.
Playing in their first A-Match in 33 years since the last time they qualified for the Beijing Asian Games in September 1990, Singapore will likely employ a counter-attacking tactic against South Korea due to the vast difference in strength. The Koreans hold a commanding 21-3-2 record in the all-time A-Match series.
“It’s not easy when you’re down the line,” said ‘captain’ Son Heung-min (Tottenham), “but it would be good if we can create chances early in the game and take control of the game.”
In preparation for the Singapore match, Klinsmann’s men had already played a home sparring match against Vietnam in October in their second A match. They scored an early goal and cruised to a 6-0 victory.
Klinsmann will be looking to take an early lead against Singapore, and will likely use a number of overseas players who have performed well for their clubs, including Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), as well as Son Heung-min.
Regarding defender Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), who has recently come under fire for his consistent appearances for both the club and the national team, the coach said, “World Cup qualifiers are a game you want to play, not a game you want to rest. In that sense, Kim Min-jae will want to play,” he said, hinting at a full squad for Singapore. 보스토토 주소
However, there was a twist as midfielder Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent) missed the last training session due to some discomfort in his leg. If Hong is unable to play against Singapore, Hwang In-beom (Zvezda) and Park Yong-woo (Al Ain) are expected to make up the midfield.
The day of the match will be the day of the 2024 college entrance exam. In response, Klinsmann and Son Heung-min said, “We wish good luck and results to those taking the SAT. We would be grateful if you take the test well and support us.” With encouragement, the home fans cheered them on.