Klinsmann’s crisis management skills and flexibility will be put to the test.
Jürgen Klinsmann’s men’s national team will face China in the second match of Group C of the second Asian qualifying round for the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026 at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen, China, on June 21.
The team traveled to China on Sept. 19 after defeating their first opponent, Singapore, 5-0 at home. In terms of objective power, the national team has the edge. The national team has always been strong against China. Their all-time record against them is 22 wins, 12 draws, and 2 losses. The Chinese media even called it a “gonghan certificate”.
However, on March 23, 2017, the team lost 0-1 to China in the sixth match of Group A of the 2018 Russia World Cup Asian final qualifiers. The game is known as the “Changsha Disaster. Head coach Uli Stielike, who was leading the team at the time, was later sacked after a 2-3 loss to Qatar in June of the same year. The ‘Changsha disaster’ led to the firing of the coach.
China was not easy, especially on the road. They have to overcome their own rough play and the frenzied support of the Chinese crowd, which is often characterized by one-sided “chants”. That adds up to a lot of variables. The good news is that the team has recently won three straight games against China. The most recent meeting was at the East Asian Football Confederation E-1 Championship (East Asian Cup) in Japan last July. A Chinese own goal and back-to-back goals from Kwon Chang-hoon and Cho Kyu-sung led to a 3-0 victory.
In the end, it’s all about how you handle the “variables” that can happen. Klinsmann’s crisis management skills will also be put to the test. The Singapore game was the only real test for Klinsmann since his arrival. China’s rough play could result in injuries and absences due to accumulated cautions or suspensions. Klinsmann played Son Heung-min (Tottenham), as well as Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), for the entirety of the Singapore match. 무지개토토 Their fitness will also need to be managed.
Son Heung-min, the national team’s “captain,” did not play during the Changsha disaster due to accumulating cautions. He said shortly after the Singapore game, “We want to be tough when we play strong teams. When Asian teams play us, they will try to be rough. It can be their tactic to make us angry and frustrated,” he acknowledged, but added, “We just have to play our game and not get caught up in it. We don’t have to be afraid of China. We just have to play our game,” he emphasized.