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Chinese national team defender Zhang Linfeng expressed his determination to block the Korean attack, saying about the game against Korea, "The defense must prepare and show its best."
China is preparing to play an away match against Korea in the second round of Group C of the 2026 North and Central America World Cup Asia 2nd qualifying round, which will be held at the Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen, China, at 9 p.m. on the 21st (Korean time).
China also achieved a dramatic comeback victory in the previous game against Thailand. On the 16th, they won 2-1 in the first match of Group C of the Asian 2nd qualifying round against Thailand held at the Ratchamangala National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. They were taken away after conceding a goal to Sarah Yuen in the 23rd minute of the first half, but Wu Lei's goal in the 29th minute of the first half and Wang Sangyuan's comeback goal in the 29th minute of the second half turned the game around.
However, it is difficult to be optimistic about victory against Korea. Korea is far ahead in terms of objective power, and the recent atmosphere is also overwhelming, with Korea winning 5-0 against Singapore.
What China can look forward to is that they won the most recent home game against Korea.
China had the experience of defeating Korea 1-0 in the 2018 Russia World Cup Asian final qualifier held in Changsha, China in March 2017, thanks to a header by opposing striker Yu Dabao. However, in the next 4 games against Korea, they showed weakness with 1 draw and 3 losses.
Defender Zhang Linfeng, who is expected to be selected in this game as well, is a player who has twice won against Korea. Zhang Linfeng played a leading role in the Changsha disaster by starting and playing full-time against Korea in the final qualifying match for the 2017 World Cup.
Zhang Linfeng was also on the pitch during China's first international win against Korea.
In February 2010, China and Korea faced each other during the third round of the 2010 East Asian Football Confederation Cup. Until that game, Korea had 16 wins and 11 draws against China and had no losses. However, in today's match held in Tokyo, China won 3-0.
China quickly took the lead thanks to Yu Hai's goal in the 5th minute of the first half, but Gao Lin scored an additional goal in the 27th minute of the first half to widen the gap. In the 15th minute of the second half, Deng Zuo-xiang surprised fans by dribbling past four Korean defenders and then hitting the Korean net with a direct shot. Zhang Linfeng was 21 years old at the time.
However, when Zhang Linpeng attended the pre-Korean War press conference and was asked about his memories of the victory, he avoided commenting, saying, "I am not a person who focuses on the past. I will focus on tomorrow's game."
He then emphasized his will to do his best, saying, "As the coach said, Korea is a team with many good players, so the defense team must prepare and show their best. We plan to analyze all aspects of Korea and do our best."
Zhang Linfeng also spoke about his expectations for the match against Korea, saying, "It's been a while since I've seen so many reporters at a press conference. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game. We had a good start in the World Cup qualifiers, and we will also do well against Korea in the match at home tomorrow." “We will try to maintain our performance,” he said, adding that he will try to continue the atmosphere of the victory against Thailand.
Meanwhile, if Zhang Linfeng plays in this match against Korea, he will play his 100th A-match career and join the Century Club.
In his thoughts ahead of his 100th A match, Zhang Linfeng also emphasized his performance in the Korean game, saying, "I cherish every moment of my 100th game and want to repay the fans with a good performance.
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
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