South Korea’s soccer team enters the first gateway to the 2026 World Cup in North and Central America.
The national team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann (GER), will open World Cup Asia 2018 qualifying Group C play at home against Singapore on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Seoul World Cup Stadium. Looking to qualify for their 11th consecutive World Cup and 12th overall, South Korea will need to keep their winning streak going until the second leg in Shenzhen on June 21.
When big-name players are flying on the field, opponents tend to back off, and the game can go your way. This is where the Taeguk Warriors from the European big leagues come in.
Captain Son Heung-min (31-Tottenham) leads the way. He can play as a winger, a striker, and the center of the attacking two. His experience at three consecutive World Cup finals, from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to last year’s World Cup in Qatar, will be a positive for the team as they embark on their qualification journey, which will also be marked by generational change.
If Son Heung-min, who has joined the Century Club (100 caps), is a veteran, Hwang Hee-chan (27, Wolverhampton) is a member of the North American World Cup generation. That means he has to play a key role. His similarities to Son Heung-min in terms of position, role, and more add to the intrigue. He has been in fine form in the English Premier League (EPL) this season, scoring his first goal since the launch of the ‘Clean Sweepers’ in a 6-0 win over Vietnam in October. Expectations are high as he broke a long silence after scoring the winning goal in the third group game of the World Cup in Qatar against Portugal last December. 보스토토 도메인
Lee Kang-in (22-Paris Saint-Germain) is the centerpiece of the national team’s generational change. His skills are already in full bloom. With a world-class club and a gold medal at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, he has laid the foundations for a long career in Europe. He is also a full-fledged starter in the ‘Klinsmannhoe’. Unless his pace drops, Lee is always an A-match player, barring injury.
Son Heung-min once mentioned the role of a ‘helper’. At the official press conference on the 15th before the Singapore match, he said, “There’s nothing I can do about jet lag and lack of training time,” but added, “(Hwang) Hee-chan and (Lee) Kang-in are in good form. My role is to create space for them to make good plays.”