“Even Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae and Lee Kang-in…it’s okay to lose” Chinese media says win or lose against South Korea already transcended
November 20, 2023 | by bookmeforphotographers.com
Chinese media seem to have decided not to put too much pressure on their national soccer team when they face Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea. Wins and losses aside, the team is looking good.
The Chinese national soccer team, led by Aleksandar Jankovic, held its first training session the previous evening (Nov. 18), according to Chinese media outlets, including the China News Network. The team is preparing for its second Group C match against South Korea at 9 p.m. on Nov. 21 at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen, China, in the second Asian qualifying round for the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026.
China is coming off a good win over Thailand on Sept. 16. They conceded a goal in the 23rd minute of the first half, but Wu Lei’s equalizer in the 29th minute and Wang Shangyuan’s late winner in the 29th minute made them smile.
The win over Thailand is significant for China, which is in a group with South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore. It was a victory over the Thais, who are expected to fight for second place in a group that is virtually evenly matched.
It also stabilized Jankovic’s regime, which had been under fire after a 1-1 draw with Malaysia and back-to-back losses to Syria (0-1) and Uzbekistan (1-2). But all is forgiven after the win over Thailand.
“Tickets for the match have already been sold out, arousing high interest,” said China News Network, adding, “For fans, the match against South Korea is a game with a lot to see. It’s the first home game of the World Cup qualifiers, and the victory over Thailand has revived confidence in the national soccer team.”
“In addition, the Korean team is full of stars such as Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), as well as renowned coach Klinsmann,” he said.
“The team was warmly welcomed by many fans at the airport on their return to Shenzhen on the evening of the 17th,” he added, “and after the hard-fought victory over Thailand, the atmosphere outside the team is definitely much more relaxed. Of course, this is what the players have earned through their performance.”
“Compared to the training camp we organized before the Thailand game, the atmosphere of the national team training was definitely more relaxed and comfortable. The players were more active and the psychological pressure was lessened,” he added.
“About 100 fans watched the team train. Many fans arrived early to get a good vantage point to watch the team,” he said, adding, “They cheered loudly when the players entered the training center,” a sign of the national team’s growing popularity.
He also shared an interview with 22-year-old defender Zhang Shenglong (Shanghai Shenhua), who performed well against Thailand. “We have to give 200% to compete with the Korean team,” Zhang said. He added that he was impressed with Cho Kyu-sung (Meatwillan), whom he played against at the 2022 East Asian Cup. 아톰카지노
However, the media outlet added, “The 79th-ranked team in the world (FIFA) is a far cry from the 24th-ranked Korea. As a team, we need to try to contain them tactically and make as much of an impact as possible. They need to be energetic on their home turf.”
“As the only team to qualify, there is no pressure on South Korea,” he added, “and a loss to them will not have a decisive negative impact on the team’s chances of advancement. The most important matches will be against Singapore and Thailand next year.”
In effect, the Chinese media is saying that their team will lose to South Korea. It doesn’t matter if they lose to the Koreans, who are the clear favorites to finish first in the group, as they can still qualify for the final round. This means they just need to play their best against South Korea.
“South Korea is a strong team in Asia and a very good team in the world,” China’s “captain” Wu Lei told China’s CCTV on Nov. 17, adding, “We will stay low to fight them. Everyone will do their best to give the fans an answer,” showing respect for their opponents.
The media outlet concluded by asking the team to “put down the pressure and fight hard against Korea.” After fielding his best team against Singapore, Klinsmann is unlikely to change much against China. It will be interesting to see how the matchup between South Korea and China plays out.