Only 2 losses against Singapore, but watch out for ‘naturalized player’ Song Eui-young

Singapore’s naturalized Korean player Song Eui-young (Persebaya Surabaya) will face the South Korean national team in his homeland.

Takayuki Nishigaya, who took charge of the Singapore national team (155th in the FIFA rankings) in 2022, will lead Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea men’s national team (24th) into the first leg of their second Asian qualifier for the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026 on Saturday at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.

Singapore faced Guam in the first round of World Cup Asia last month and advanced to the second round with a 3-1 aggregate scoreline. Takayuki’s side defeated Guam in the first and second rounds, using a four-back and a three-back respectively.

Noteworthy are the players with “Korean names” on the Singapore roster. That would be forward Song Eui-young. The Incheon native joined Singapore Home United in 2012 after graduating from high school, where he was coached by Lee Im-Seung at the time. His impressive performances propelled him into the first team within two years of joining the club, and in 2016, with the arrival of new coach Aidil Shahak, he was given a more attacking role in a traditional central midfield role.

With his game in full bloom, Song emerged as a breakout star for Singapore, and his naturalization was pushed through to become a Singaporean citizen in 2021. He made his A-League debut against Kyrgyzstan in November that year and has since gone on to score four goals and provide three assists in 20 A-League appearances.

He also scored in two consecutive games against Daegu FC in the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) group stage.

Song started both the first and second matches of the World Cup Asia Zone 1 qualifier against Guam last month. Playing as a left winger, he utilized his strengths to get around the field. His versatility as a central midfielder, winger, and second striker makes him a versatile player that Klismanho will have to be wary of.

At the pre-match press conference, Song said, “We are playing against the strongest team in Asia, Korea. Not only me, but all the players are nervous. It’s important to play as prepared as possible.” “I never imagined that I would play against Korea in Sangam. Even after I became a naturalized citizen. I’m looking forward to it. I want to show my performance as a competitive player and as a team.”

Coach Takayuki said, “It’s an honor. It’s a great opportunity for us and we will do our best. We will give 100 percent against Korea.”

South Korea have the upper hand in the head-to-head series with 21 wins, three draws and two losses. The last time the two teams met was in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing. Seo Jung-won, Choi Jeong-woon, and Kim Joo-sung scored two goals apiece, and Hong Myung-bo added a brace in a 7-0 victory. Nevertheless, Klinsmann vowed to keep his side on their toes, saying that “there are no easy games in soccer.” 캡틴토토 주소

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