The South Korean national soccer team (26th in FIFA rankings), led by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, will play a friendly match against Tunisia (29th) at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 8 p.m. on the 13th.
Klinsmann took a breather in the A-match last September. Since its launch in March, it has had no win in five games with three draws and two losses, but it secured a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia (57th). It was the first victory in the sixth attempt.
The urgent fire was put out, but the homework was still piled up. First of all, it is the first home victory. Klinsmann has no win in four home games with two draws and two losses. They met Colombia (2-2 draw), Uruguay (1-2 loss), Peru (0-1 loss) and El Salvador (1-1 draw) one after another, but they were disappointed.
It is time to give joy to win at home as much as he took the burden of his first victory. Son Heung-min, who attended an official press conference held a day before the match, also said, “As it has been a long time since we played a domestic evaluation match, I think it would be good to concentrate and show a good performance and win consecutive games.”
As Son Heung-min said, if he succeeds in winning the home game, he will achieve his first winning streak. There has been no victory, so there has been no winning streak. Son Heung-min said, “It’s a big difference between going to the Asian Cup in a good atmosphere and not through winning consecutive games,” adding, “We need to get both the process and the result.”
If he succeeds in winning his first home victory and winning consecutive games, he will be able to accumulate his first wins in the match against Tunisia. South Korea has met Tunisia twice and has no victory with one draw and one loss. In March 2002, the team was tied 0-0. In May 2014, the team lost 0-1. It is an opportunity to avenge the defeat nine years ago.
Strong reinforcements also arrived to hunt three rabbits. They are Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Jung Woo-young ( Stuttgart), Hong Hyun-seok (KAA Hent), and Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), who won the gold medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.
Coach Klinsmann also regretted the absence of Lee Kang-in, who was injured in the A match in September. He revealed his plan to recruit Lee Kang-in ahead of the match against Tunisia. “We plan to actively utilize Lee Kang-in,” Klinsmann said, “We will give him as much time as possible because he will be thirsty for his playing time.”
Regarding Jung Woo-young, who won the top scorer in the Asian Games with eight goals, he said, “I felt good because I scored a lot of goals and I was impressed with my performance,” adding, “Like Son Heung-min, I can play on both sides or the center.” We will consider how to use this two-game series,” he said, expressing expectations.
On top of that, Son Heung-min is also ready to play. Son Heung-min, who has pain in his thigh, is also controlling his training volume and playing time at Tottenham. Even after being called up to the national team, he only conducted individual training for three days. Concerns were raised about his physical condition, but he joined the team’s training from the day before the game.
Son Heung-min said, “I think a lot of people will be worried, but I’m still recovering,” adding, “I’m in a much better condition than when I first entered Korea.”
Meanwhile, Tunisia, which South Korea will face, failed to advance to the round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup. He also showed potential despite being eliminated from the group stage. He proved his competitiveness by winning against France. Tunisia became the only team to beat France during the tournament as France’s penalty shootout loss remained a draw in the official record.
After the World Cup, it is on a good trend. He had four wins, one draw and one loss in six A matches. He is currently undefeated in three games, including two consecutive wins. The balance of offense and defense, which allowed only two goals with seven goals during the unbeaten period, is impressive.