There are two main things South Korean soccer needs to watch out for against China: injuries and upsets. One of the synonyms for Chinese soccer is “Shaolin football”. It is notorious for its martial arts-like physicality. South Korea has bad memories of playing China. The 1998 World Cup in France was marred by a serious injury to striker Hwang Sun-hong in an exhibition match, and most recently, the Hangzhou Asian Games squad was plagued by injuries during an exhibition match against China. Many fans are worried that the likes of Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who are among the top performers in Europe, could be injured by their opponents’ rough play. National team coach Jürgen Klinsmann is aware of this, as are the players.
In terms of objective strength, South Korea has an absolute advantage. China also recognizes this. But there are no absolutes in soccer. China is the toughest opponent South Korea will face in the Asian second round of the North American World Cup. And it’s away from home. Chinese fans are notoriously passionate. We’ll have to play in a hostile atmosphere. They’re likely to play extreme defense, and if they get caught in the middle of some rough soccer, they could struggle. If we concede an early goal, I don’t even want to think about it.
So it’s as important not to concede as it is to score. I’m not too worried. The presence of the ‘monster’ Kim Min-jae (27-Bayern Munich). Kim has been in top form for the national team. Klinsmann recently reorganized the center of his team with the Kim-Min-Jae-Jung Seung-Hyun (Ulsan Hyundai) lineup. With Kim taking over the build-up and defensive coordination, the national team’s defense has become more solid. The results speak for themselves. South Korea has kept a clean sheet in five consecutive matches since September against Wales. Combined with Kim’s aggressive defense, they have exploded for 15 goals in their last three games.
In fact, there were concerns before the Singapore game, due to the heat. Kim has played in 17 of the 18 official matches his club Bayern have played this season, including 16 full-time. Recently, he’s played 14 games in a row. Even against third division teams, he has played until the end, even when they were 7-0 down. There are even injury concerns. Recently, Kim has been seen touching his leg at the end of games, and in a UCL match against Galatasaray on September 9, he was unable to sprint into the opponent’s box in the dying seconds of the game and watched as they conceded a goal. Even the German media was worried, as he could have collapsed at any moment. 무지개토토 도메인
However, Kim showed his fitness by starting and playing the full game against Singapore. “It’s better to play than not to play,” he said in a monstrous statement. Kim will likely start against China. Kim has some experience with Chinese soccer, having played for Beijing Guoan in the past. “If they play rough, we will play even rougher,” he said. China will be looking for an upset with a counterattack. With Kim Min-jae in the middle, there is no room for error for China.