Can the Chinese national soccer team’s defense withstand a fierce South Korean attack led by Son Heung-min?
Serbian head coach Aleksandar Jankovic and key defender Zhang Linfeng are confident they can do so, emphasizing their defense as a team.
China will next face South Korea in their second Group C match of the 2026 North American Football Confederations Cup Asia Second Qualifying Round at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center at 9 p.m. on June 21.
China is coming off a dramatic come-from-behind win over Thailand. The Chinese won 2-1 in the first leg of their Asian Second Qualifying Round Group C match against Thailand at the Ratchamangala National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on Nov. 16. After going down to a goal from Sarach Yun in the 23rd minute, Wu Lei’s goal in the 29th minute and Wang Sangyuan’s comeback goal in the 29th minute turned the game around in the second half.
Against South Korea, however, it’s hard to be optimistic about a win. The Koreans have a huge advantage in terms of objective power, and their recent form has been overwhelming, including a 5-0 thrashing of Singapore. The all-time head-to-head record is also in favor of South Korea, with 21 wins, 13 draws, and two losses.
What China can look forward to is a win in their most recent home match against South Korea.
China defeated South Korea 1-0 in March 2017 in Changsha, China, in the final Asian qualifier for the 2018 Russia World Cup, thanks to a header from striker Wei Dabao. However, the Chinese have been weak in their four games against South Korea since then, drawing one and losing three.
For China, it’s a chance to see how competitive they are against South Korea. The Chinese, who are looking to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 24 years after the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, were drawn in Group C alongside South Korea, Singapore and Thailand in the second round of Asian qualifiers. They reached the Asian finals at the last World Cup in Qatar in 2022, but finished fifth out of six teams in Group B and failed to qualify.
From the 2026 World Cup in North and Central America, the number of qualifying teams will increase from 32 to 48, and the number of spots allocated to Asia will also increase from 4.5 to 8.5, making it easier for China to reach the World Cup. In this situation, China will face South Korea in the second round of the second qualifying round, and even if they don’t win, a good performance could help them advance to the final round. 무지개토토 도메인
“I hope we can continue our great momentum against Korea. All the players are motivated and excited. We are looking forward to the start of the match tomorrow.”
Below is a one-on-one interview with Aleksandar Jankovic.