“Korea is already riding the wave of the Premier League, French Ligue 1, and Bundesliga,” a local Chinese media outlet said, referring to the difference in quality between the Korean and Chinese national teams.

China’s ‘Sohu.com’ said on the 22nd (below), “The gap is too big (差距太大)! China deserved to lose the game against South Korea,” expressing despair at the difference in quality between the Korean and Chinese national teams.레모나토토

The South Korean national football team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, defeated China 3-0 in the second match of Group C of the 2026 FIFA Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Second Qualifying Round at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen, China at 9 p.m. on June 21.

Before the game, China vowed to stop the “world-class” Son Heung-min. While acknowledging Son’s world-class skills, they said, “He’s not a player we can’t stop as a team. As a team, we will do our best to stop him.”

However, the Chinese defenders found it difficult to stop him. Once in the starting lineup, Heung-min absolutely destroyed China.

The media said, “China fell to third place in the group behind Thailand. The difference in quality between South Korea and China was so great that it was reasonable for China to lose. The entire team played so hard that you can’t blame them. We saw a top-notch Asian team in this match. Trying to defend your position and doing your best is the most effective way to improve,” he said, acknowledging the difference in quality between the two teams.

“In the first round, China defeated Thailand 2-1, which really boosted the team’s morale,” said Sohu.com. With this result, China had high hopes for the match against South Korea. Coach Jankovic set up a three-man central defense as he did against Thailand. However, South Korea was unhindered and moved up into China’s zone far too easily. Jankovic may have intended this, but he disrupted China’s plans by conceding a penalty kick.”

“After the goal, the South Korean players relaxed. The three overseas stars (Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan, and Lee Kang-in) frequently switched positions and threatened. Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan fired back-to-back shots and scored another goal from a corner kick. “We had to go into the locker room with a 0-2 score,” said the Chinese coach, reflecting on the lethargic first half.

“In the second half, Chinese soccer was ineffective. Wei Hao went down with an injury and the strikers were isolated up front. Before the end of the game, Son Heung-min’s assist and Jung Seung-hyun’s header drove a wedge into the match. China conceded all three goals on set pieces (PKs, free kicks, and corners). Coach Jankovic’s tactics seemed to have some success (no field goals). Perhaps if South Korea hadn’t conceded an early penalty, the score wouldn’t have been 0-2 at halftime. But there are no ‘what ifs’ in sports,” he said bitterly.

“However, the gap between China and South Korea was huge. Korea was the best team in Asia. They were overwhelming in every aspect, including technology, tactics, and individual ability. Our Chinese players are already accustomed to the Chinese Super League, but Korea is following the Premier League, Ligue 1, and Bundesliga. We are already far behind,” he said, lamenting that it is difficult to catch up as South Korea is following the rhythm of European soccer.

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