South Korea Braces for Challenging Start Against Bahrain in Asian Cup

SEOUL, South Korea - The South Korean national football team, led by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, is gearing up for a challenging start to their Group E campaign against Bahrain at the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in Qatar. Despite being regarded as the favorites, Klinsmann has a different perspective on the upcoming match.

According to Yonhap News Agency, during his prematch press conference in Doha on Sunday, he emphasized the difficulty of the game against Bahrain. The match, which pits world No. 23 South Korea against No. 86 Bahrain, is scheduled to take place at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Al Rayyan, near Doha, at 2:30 p.m. Monday local time, or 8:30 p.m. Monday Seoul time.

Klinsmann stressed that the Bahrain team should not be underestimated. “We do not underestimate the Bahrain team, not even one second,” he said, highlighting the respect South Korea holds for their opponents. He further added that the team needs to bring their best performance to win, a mindset they plan to maintain throughout the tournament.

South Korea, which has not won the Asian Cup since 1960, is looking to end their long drought in the tournament. The current squad is considered one of the most talented in the nation's history, featuring players like Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min, Bayern Munich's Kim Min-jae, Paris Saint-Germain's Lee Kang-in, and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Hwang Hee-chan.

Klinsmann, who took over as South Korea's coach last February, expressed confidence in the team's abilities to win the tournament. He described the journey as a marathon, anticipating each game to be intense and full of drama, characteristic of major tournaments.

Hwang Hee-chan, who joined Klinsmann at the press conference despite a hip injury concern, shared his eagerness to achieve victory in every match. He highlighted the team's strong preparation and the positive mindset among players, emphasizing their focus on improving performance and creating positive energy.

The team anticipates that Bahrain might adopt a defensive strategy for the game. Klinsmann acknowledged this possibility and noted the need for his team to adjust and respect Bahrain's approach, while also being cautious of counterattacks and set pieces.

With heightened expectations from fans, the South Korean team is embracing the pressure and is committed to delivering strong results as the tournament commences.

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