South Korea’s soccer team will look to avenge its World Cup loss to China six years and eight months ago with a European class.
The South Korean national soccer team, coached by Jürgen Klinsmann, on Saturday announced its 23-man roster for this month’s World Cup Asia Second Round qualifiers in South Korea and China. South Korea will open their World Cup Asia 2026 campaign at home against Southeast Asia’s Singapore at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Sept. 16.
The team will then travel to Shenzhen, China, to take on China on Nov. 21 for the second leg of the Asian Second Qualifying Round. It’s the trip to China that will be the focus of attention.
Although it’s only the second round of qualifying, Klinsmann will bring out all of his European star players to try and make it two wins in a row, reflecting the weight of World Cup qualification. Compared to the two A matches in October, there are two players missing and one new addition. It is no exaggeration to say that the roster was almost unchanged, with backup goalkeeper Song Bum-geun (Shonan Belmare) returning.
Captain Son Heung-min (Tottenham), core defender Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), Altoan midfielder Lee Jae-sung (Mainz), midfield helmsman Hwang In-beom (Zvezda), striker Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), striker Cho Kyu-sung (Mitwillan), and technician Lee Kang-in (PSG) are all top European players.
In addition, experienced fullback Kim Jin-soo (Jeonbuk Hyundai) was included in the Ulsan Hyundai defense, which included Kim Young-kwon, Jung Seung-hyun, Kim Tae-hwan, and Seol Young-woo (all of Ulsan Hyundai), who won the first back-to-back K League 1 titles since its inception. 무지개토토 도메인
From a Korean soccer perspective, the team has called up all of its European counterparts with the goal of qualifying for the third round of the tournament, or even better, qualifying early, by winning two consecutive Asian second-round qualifiers. It would also mean avenging their World Cup qualifying loss to China.
South Korea last lost to China in the final Asian qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in Russia in March 2017. Under German coach Uli Stielike at the time, the Koreans hung their heads in shame after conceding a goal to their opponents’ tall striker Yudabao at a corner kick crisis. The game was dubbed the “Changsha Disaster,” to borrow a phrase from the Chinese city of Changsha. With their ace Son Heung-min unable to play due to a suspension, the Koreans were left with a huge gap in their lineup and suffered the humiliation of being outplayed by China.