‘China, what can I do’…Kim Do-hoon and Son Heung-min on “Only Victory”

“Only victory, the beauty of Yujong!”

Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham), the “captain” of the South Korean national soccer team, and coach Kim Do-hoon vowed in unison to do everything in their power to win. Without thinking of any other conditions, they reaffirmed their determination to win the “beauty of Yuzhong” with their fans at home, casting a dark cloud over China, which is hoping for a miracle in the final match.

“Regardless of the early confirmation of the third qualifying round or other team circumstances, we will prepare to continue the good atmosphere until the end,” Kim Do-hoon and Son Heung-min said at a press conference at Goyang Sports Complex on Tuesday, one day before the final six matches of Group C of the Asia Pacific 2026 World Cup, which will be played against China.

“When we analyzed China’s recent matches through video, we saw that they play a counter-attacking game around the long ball,” Kim said, adding, “They may play rough, but we will keep our cool and calm and 홀덤사이트 use the speed of our key player Son Heung-min to get good results.”

South Korea, led by interim coach Kim Do-hoon, will face China in the final match of the second qualifying round at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. after securing first place in Group C and a spot in the third qualifying round with a 7-0 win in the fifth match against Singapore on Nov. 6. Unlike the more relaxed South Koreans, China is in a precarious position where they could be eliminated from the second round depending on the outcome of the final match.

With 8 points (+1 goal difference), China is second in Group C. If they lose against South Korea, they could lose second place in the group to third-place Thailand (5 points, -2 goal difference) and fail to qualify for the third round. Thailand will play at home against relatively weak Singapore.

For China, a hard-fought 1-1 draw at home against Thailand in the fifth match on June 6 was a cliffhanger, but they will be hoping for a miracle in the final match against South Korea, as a minimum draw would secure second place on its own, despite the objective power differential. South Korea won last year’s match against China 3-0 away from home.

South Korea, however, is in no position to sympathize with China in the final. The South Koreans are in no position to sympathize with the Chinese, as they were scarred by the infighting at the Asian Cup in Qatar in February and have yet to appoint a permanent coach after Jürgen Klinsmann quit. Moreover, South Korea is battling with Australia for third place in Asia to secure the top seed in the third round of qualifying, so a win against China is a must.

Divided into three groups, the third round of qualifying will see the top three FIFA ranked nations receive the top seeds. Japan (18th) and Iran (20th) occupy the top two spots, while South Korea (23rd – 1563.99 points) and Australia (24th – 1563.93 points) are separated by just 0.06 points. The first and second place finishers in Group 3 will earn a direct ticket to the North and Central American World Cup.

“For the players who play in Europe, this is actually the last game of the season,” said Son Heung-min. It’s important to end the season on a high note. No match is easy, regardless of the top seed, but since we are playing at home, we will do our best to win the tournament.”

The team held a final training session at Goyang Sports Complex at 4:30 p.m. in a bright atmosphere to prepare for the match against China. Coach Kim Do-hoon, who took over as interim head coach for the two A matches in June, said, “The concerns I had about the players were unfounded as I lived with them inside. The future of Korean soccer is bright as the players are more professional than expected and good players are steadily growing. If you believe in them and support them, we will be able to develop further,” said Kim.

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