Aleksandar Jankovic, head coach of the Chinese national soccer team, said the team will use its entire defensive system to stop the likes of Son Heung-min (Tottenham).
“We have to stop not only Son but also the whole opposing team,” Yankovic said at a press conference held at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center in Guangdong, China, on Tuesday afternoon.
“The whole team, every player, has to defend according to the system with high-level tactical movement and sophistication,” he said. “The potential of their attack is huge. The potential of the opponent’s offense is great. It can be a crisis in any aspect,” he warned.
“They scored from set pieces, counterattacks and all sorts of situations in the previous game, so our defense will have to be at the highest level,” he said. “At the same time, even the best teams in the world have weaknesses, so we have to exploit them.”
Klinsmann’s men will next face China at 9 p.m. ET on Sept. 21 in the second Group C match of the 2026 North American World Cup Second Qualifying Round.
The firepower of Klinsmann’s men, who have scored 15 goals in their last three matches along with four straight wins in A matches, will be a challenge for China, who beat Thailand 2-1 in their first qualifier.
“We have a lot of respect for Korea as a World Cup team,” said Jankovic, “and the win against Thailand gave us good momentum. Now we have a big game at home against a top-ranked team, so everyone is motivated.”
“As we always say, we need to be the kind of team that all of China wants to see. Both in terms of results and attitude,” he added, “and also in terms of passion in terms of fighting for the country and wanting to win.”
“Not only do they have a very good offense, but they also have a strong defense. They have kept a clean sheet in the last few games, including the last one.”
China’s veteran defender Zhang Linfeng (Shanghai), who will be making his 100th A-match appearance against South Korea, is also determined to put the proud past behind him and focus on the upcoming match.
The all-time series between the two countries is dominated by South Korea with 21 wins, 13 draws and two losses. The Chinese media has even coined the term “gonghan syndrome” (恐韓症).
Nevertheless, the memory of the “two losses” is still painful for Korea.
In 2010, the team suffered a shock 0-3 loss to China at the East Asian Cup, and in 2017, the team was brought to its knees by a 0-1 defeat in the final qualifying match for the World Cup in Russia.
Zhang Linfeng played in both games.
When asked about the two games, Zhang Linfeng said, “First of all, I’m not one to talk about the past. I only focus on tomorrow’s game.”
“As the coach said, the opponent is a team with a lot of potential on the offensive side, so we need to be prepared to be at our best on the defensive side,” he said, adding, “We will analyze every aspect of Korea and do our best.” 슬롯게이밍