South Korea will host Tunisia (Sept. 13 at Seoul World Cup Stadium) and Vietnam (Sept. 17 at Suwon World Cup Stadium) in a pair of October A matches. It’s a sparring match and a de facto final tune-up before the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 North American Football Championship and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar early next year.

One of the main challenges for national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann (GER) in this call-up is the midfield combination. He needs to find a partner for ‘Maestro’ Hwang In-beom (27), who is currently playing in the UEFA Champions League with Zvechna Zvezda (Serbia).

With his wide range of vision, work rate, and exceptional ball sense, Hwang is the most important resource in the national team’s third line, which is significantly weaker than its deep attacking second line. Originally an attacking midfielder, Hwang has increasingly been used as a central midfielder or defensive midfielder, and has become deeply ingrained in the national team as a midfield engine.

But one player is not enough. In order to fully utilize Hwang’s offensive talents, he needs a partner who can consistently get the ball into the opponent’s half and get the offense into a rhythm. In the past, Klinsmann has used a variety of formations, often with two or more players in the midfield to protect the defense.메이저사이트

With the exception of Baek Seung-ho (26-North Korea Hyundai), who captained the U-24 national team to victory at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, the current squad, which has been working out at the Paju National Training Center (NFC), includes fellow Asian Games hero Hong Hyun-seok (24-Hent), Park Yong-woo (30-Al Ain), and Lee Sun-min (29-Gwangju FC). Among them, Hong Hyun-seok seems to be a step ahead.

The variable here is Klinsmann’s choice of players. In the September match against Wales (0-0 draw), the national team’s international coaching staff made a strange decision. They put Hong Hyun-seok, who is used to playing in the center and is excellent, on the flanks. It would have been a great mercenary move if the match and result had gone well, but it didn’t live up to expectations at all.

Hong Hyun-seok played in the center midfield for the U-24s, as Hwang Sun-hong saw fit, and his brilliant play in the air helped them win the gold medal. “We need to fill the gap of receiving the ball lower down the third line, getting involved, and being more defensive,” Hwang said, and how and where he is used will have a significant impact on the national team’s midfield mix.

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