Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korean national soccer team will play Saudi Arabia as their second opponent in their September A match.
An official from the Korea Football Association said on Tuesday, “It is not realistically easy to arrange a European team as the second opponent for the September A match,” adding, “As a backup plan, we are preparing to play Saudi Arabia. We haven’t signed the contract yet, but it’s virtually guaranteed to be Saudi Arabia.”
The Fifa had initially agreed to play Wales and Mexico in England as part of its preparations for two away A matches in September.
As a result, Klinsmann’s squad will play the first of the trials against Wales at 3:45 a.m. ET on Sept. 8 at Cardiff Stadium in Wales. Mexico was scheduled to play an exhibition game against Saudi Arabia before the game against South Korea.
However, on March 4, Mexico abruptly canceled the trial after the Korean Football Association and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation requested a halt to negotiations, citing TV time.
The KFA is scrambling to find a second A-Match opponent, but with Euro 2024 qualifiers taking place during the September A-Match (September 4-12), it’s not easy to find a European team.
As a result, the KFA is moving forward with the next best option, which is to play games in Saudi Arabia and England, which, like us, have scheduling conflicts with Mexico.
As it is difficult to find a new opponent due to the tight schedule of the trial matches, Saudi Arabia is the de facto opponent for the second match of the September A match. The date of the match will be Sept. 12 local time. The venue and time are still to be negotiated.
“We are still trying to find a European team that is stronger than our national team, but it is not easy,” said an official from the KFA. “Coach Klinsmann also expressed the opinion that it would not be a bad idea to play a Middle Eastern team in preparation for the Asian Cup next January.”
South Korea will compete against Jordan, Bahrain and Malaysia in Group E of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Doha, Qatar, next January.
The national team will also begin the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in November. They will face China, Thailand, and the winner of the Singapore-Guam first round.
It will be the first time in five and a half years that the national team has traveled to Europe for a test match, and while it will be a treat for fans to see how they stack up against the European giants, it’s also a good way to get a feel for the Middle East in preparation for next January’s Asian Cup and the second round of World Cup qualifiers, which begin in November.
With no scheduled matches against Middle Eastern teams ahead of the World Cup qualifiers and Asian Cup, Klinsmann is hoping to get some hands-on experience against Saudi Arabia in a September trial.
He is also pushing for a trial against Vietnam in the two October A matches (Oct. 9-17), which are scheduled to be played domestically.안전놀이터
According to the Football Association, Klinsmann wanted an opponent that would play a tight defense in the October A match, and coincidentally, Vietnam will be playing a ‘virtual opponent’ as they are in the same group as Thailand in the second round of World Cup qualifying.