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Klinsmann expects 'very tough' battle

Updated: 2023-11-21 09:34
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Republic of Korea coach Jurgen Klinsmann. [Photo/Agencies]

South Korea travels to China on Tuesday for 2026 World Cup qualifying, with Son Heung-min warning his side it must keep its cool in front of a sell-out crowd.

The clash in the southern metropolis of Shenzhen is the pick of the second round of games in the second phase of Asian zone qualifying for the World Cup.

Among other notable matches, Australia faces Palestine in Kuwait, Japan travels to Jeddah to play Syria, Iran is away at Uzbekistan and India hosts Qatar.

South Korea thrashed Singapore 5-0 on Thursday to begin its qualifying campaign, with skipper and Tottenham Hotspur forward Son scoring a screamer from outside the box.

Jurgen Klinsmann's South Korea is the favorite to win in Shenzhen, but Son warned: "I think Asian teams will try to be physical against us, and getting under our skin will perhaps be a part of their strategy," Son told Yonhap news agency.

"We just have to make sure we don't get dragged into that kind of thing and stick to our own plan."

German great Klinsmann, a World Cup winner in 1990, also cautioned his team to expect a tough encounter.

"We are happy to be in China, and we are excited about this game. The World Cup qualifier against China is hugely important. We hope we can continue the way we played the last game. Obviously, we know it's going to be very tough, but we are well-prepared and we are looking forward to it. So far everything is wonderful," said Klinsmann.

Agencies — China Daily

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