Klinsmann’s men will look to make it three wins in a row against the underdogs.
The South Korean national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, will host Vietnam in an A-match friendly on October 17 at the Suwon World Cup Stadium.
The South Koreans are coming off a 4-0 victory over African powerhouse Tunisia on Oct. 13, their second consecutive win following a victory over Saudi Arabia in September. The win signaled a rebound after a five-match winless streak.
After a lackluster first half against Tunisia, South Korea attacked furiously in the second half, when the Tunisians exposed their physical limitations, and cruised to a four-goal victory. The victory was highlighted by the performance of ‘next ace’ Lee Kang-in, who led the attack with a sharp corner kick that led to an own-goal situation, including his A-match debut goal. The victory was made all the more rewarding by the fact that ‘captain’ Son Heung-min missed the game to manage his fitness.
Compared to Tunisia (29th), Vietnam is a much easier opponent. Ranked 95th in the FIFA rankings, Vietnam is the 15th best team in Asia. Similarly ranked Asian countries include Syria (93rd), Kyrgyzstan (96th), and Palestine (97th).
South Korean soccer fans are also familiar with the team under former coach Park Hang-seo. Under Park, Vietnam achieved a number of history-making feats, including finishing runner-up at the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship, reaching the quarterfinals of the Asian Games in Palembang, Jakarta, winning the AFF Championship, reaching the quarterfinals of the 2019 Asian Cup, and qualifying for the final round of the World Cup for the first time ever.
Since Park Hang-seo stepped down in January, Vietnam has been led by Philippe Trousier, a former Japan national team coach. Trucier is a bright spot in Asian soccer, having coached several professional teams in China and Vietnam’s age-group national teams after his stint in Japan.
Some say Vietnam is too weak as an exhibition opponent. It’s unlikely that a team of Vietnam’s caliber will meet a team of South Korea’s caliber in a higher tournament that could determine their path to the title. It’s a mock test against a weaker team that they will face in the group stage. On the other hand, for Vietnam, who have a realistic goal of making it out of the group stage, playing against the Asian Cup favorites could be a great experience. Vietnam qualified for the Asian Cup in Qatar and were drawn in Group D with Japan, Indonesia, and Iraq. 스포츠토토
Public opinion of Klinsmann remains cold. Before the last match against Tunisia, the crowd booed during the introduction of Jürgen Klinsmann. The big win against Tunisia was a sign of a turnaround, but there’s still a long way to go. A dominant performance is needed to put to rest the “remote working” controversy surrounding Klinsmann’s frequent travels abroad.