It’s hard to imagine losing. The fact that it’s an interim regime doesn’t excuse it. It’s a huge power differential.

Kim Do-hoon and the South Korean national soccer team will be looking for a big win against Singapore. There’s nothing like a goal storm to cool down a stagnant South Korean soccer scene. The South Korean national soccer team, coached by interim head coach Kim Do-hoon, will face Singapore at the Singapore National Stadium on Saturday at 9 p.m. KST in the fifth match of Group C of the Asian second qualifying round for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup. With three wins and a draw through four matches (10 points), South Korea sits atop the group ahead of China (7 points), Thailand (4 points) and Singapore (1 point). A draw in Singapore will secure a spot in the third qualifying round regardless of the outcome of the final six matches against China. Even if they lose, 안전카지노사이트 if Thailand doesn’t get a point, South Korea will advance to the third round.

More importantly than the immediate third qualifier, South Korea need to win in Singapore to keep their FIFA ranking in check. South Korea (No. 23) is third in the April Asian rankings with 1563.99 ranking points, behind Japan (No. 18 – 1621.88 ranking points) and Iran (No. 20 – 1613.96 ranking points). They are just 0.06 points ahead of fourth-ranked Australia (24th – 1563.93 ranking points).

The seeding for the third qualifying round is based on the June FIFA rankings. South Korea will need to maintain a top-three FIFA ranking among Asian nations to avoid “nemesis” Japan and Iran in the third qualifying round, which is divided into three groups. Otherwise, they could be drawn with Japan or Iran in the third round.

Moreover, it would be “unacceptable” to lose to 155th-ranked Singapore in terms of power differential. A loss with a full squad would also be devastating. The national team has been playing a series of A matches under an acting coach since Jürgen Klinsmann stepped down earlier this year after being blamed for the team’s quarterfinal exit at the 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar and infighting within the squad. The KFA had hoped to have a permanent coach in place before the fifth and sixth rounds of the second qualifying round, but when that became impossible, Kim Do-hoon was handed the reins on an interim basis. While it is true that there is an absolute lack of time to get up to speed under a new coach, it is not an excuse for defeats or draws. Kim is no stranger to Singaporean soccer, having coached the prestigious Lion City Sailors from 2021 to 2022. He has personally coached some of the main players on the Singapore national team, including South Korean naturalized forward Song Eui-young (Lion City).

Meanwhile, fans are excited about the seven new young bloods in the squad. In particular, they are interested to see how attacking midfielder Bae Joon-ho, who has emerged as the so-called “star of Stoke City” with some of his best performances in the English Championship (2nd Division), will perform.

First, the atmosphere on the field is not bad. The South Korean national team practiced for the second time on Thursday afternoon at Singapore’s Bishan Stadium. Most importantly, the team practiced with all 23 Taegeuk Warriors together for the first time without any major injuries.

Led by captain Son Heung-min (Tottenham), all the players practiced lightly. In the first training session the day before, only 20 players had practiced together. Choi Joon (Seoul) and Hwang Jae-won (Daegu), who had played in K League 1 matches on the previous two days, joined the team on the evening of the third day, and Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent) was the last to join the team. The Taegeuk Warriors, including “Captain” Son Heung-min and “next generation ace” Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), smiled in front of dozens of fans at the training center as they took their final breaths against Singapore.

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