The South Korean national soccer team, which is aiming to win the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, will play its final test before the final exams.
Jürgen Klinsmann’s side will face Vietnam in a friendly on Sunday at the Suwon World Cup Stadium. Klinsmann, who took over the reins in February, struggled to find success in his first five matches, drawing three and losing two. However, a 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia in September was followed by a 4-0 victory over Tunisia on Sept. 13.
With momentum on their side, South Korea will look to showcase their fiery offense against Vietnam. South Korea, ranked 26th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) rankings, boasts an overwhelming amount of power compared to the 95th-ranked Vietnamese. Even the Vietnamese media has acknowledged the underdog status, focusing solely on Son Heung-min (31-Tottenham). Vietnamese defender Quang Ngoc Hai (30) even asked South Korea to let him meet Son Heung-min after the game. Moreover, it has been 32 years since South Korea hosted a Southeast Asian nation for an A match in 1991, when they played Indonesia in Daejeon.
Because of this atmosphere, it is said that Vietnam does not want to play an exhibition match. There’s not much to be gained from playing a weaker team when you’re already facing a stronger team. The KFA explained that “Vietnam requested the match first,” and “did not pay for any expenses such as accommodation or invitation fees.”토토사이트
Klinsmann hopes the game will be a big boost ahead of the tests. Starting in November, the team will face the winners of China and Thailand and Singapore and Guam in the second round of Asian qualifiers for the 2026 North American Cup. At the Asian Cup next January, South Korea will be drawn in Group E with Malaysia, Jordan, and Bahrain. As Klinsmann struggles to gauge the strength of the weaker nations, this will give him a better idea of the specific strength of Asian soccer. It will also be interesting to see what Philippe Trousier (France), who is no stranger to Asian soccer, comes up with against South Korea.
It will be interesting to see if Son Heung-min, who is not fully fit, can be used in this match. Son participated in training on the 16th, a day before the game, but his status is unknown. “We plan to decide on Son Heung-min after judging how much he can play,” Klinsmann said at the official press conference.
Meanwhile, former Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo will meet with the players before the match. This will be the first time a foreign national team coach who has coached in Korea’s A matches will be encouraging the players.