It took a long time for the first win. Captain Son Heung-min was eager to turn things around after Klinsmann’s slow start.
Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea national soccer team defended well against a late goal from Cho Kyu-sung to earn a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in an exhibition match at St. James’ Park in Newcastle, England, on Wednesday. It was the first win for 스포츠토토 Klinsmann, who had drawn three and lost two of his five friendlies since taking over this year.
Son Heung-min was on fire for Klinsmann’s side. He was eager to score early on, attempting mid-range shots and trying to create chances for his teammates. He worked hard throughout the match, until he started to show signs of fatigue midway through the second half.
After the match against Saudi Arabia, Son Heung-min said, “It was a disappointing 1-0 win,” adding, “The first win is important, and I think we had a difficult first win, but I think Saudi Arabia prepared a lot and played a good game.”
Klinsmann has emphasized attacking football since his arrival. However, with only five goals in six matches, including the Saudi Arabia game, the team still has a lot of room for improvement, although they did have nine shots on target.
“We had a lot of chances, and I think we could have had an easier game if we had converted them into goals,” said Son Heung-min. “I’m sorry about that, but the most important thing was the first win. I hope we can be more positive through this result.”
There is a lot of criticism of Klinsmann’s side for the late victory. Just last year, they reached the round of 16 at the World Cup in Qatar with a proactive style of play that has been sorely missed. “I don’t think it changes overnight in terms of content,” said Son Heung-min. “We’re still moving forward and we have important matches in October. I think we can definitely do better, so I hope we can improve,” he said.
But there’s still a long way to go before that happens. In November, the second round of Asian qualifiers for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup begins, and next January, Klinsmann’s primary goal is to win the Asian Cup. The only real test will be a two-game homestand against Tunisia and Vietnam next month.
Son Heung-min also emphasizes that there is not much time left: “It’s actually really short, and a lot can happen in two or three months. We don’t have as much time as we thought, so I don’t know who will be called up in October, but it’s important that we understand the kind of football the coach wants to play. It’s important to put it into practice.”
Meanwhile, Son had a giant ice pack on his knee before and after the game, and the British media was busy trying to figure out if he was injured. Luckily, he was not injured. Still, the impact of Son’s icing and taping of his knee proved to be overwhelming, as Tottenham were stunned.