China national soccer team head coach Aleksandar Jankovic acknowledged the gap between his team and South Korea.

Jürgen Klinsmann’s men’s national football team will face the Republic of Korea on June 21 at the Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen, China, in the second match of Group C of the 2026 FIFA World Cup North America in Asia. South Korea will play their first Asian Secondary Qualifying Group C match against Singapore at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Sept. 16 before traveling to China on Sept. 19.

Jankovic told China’s Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday, “We will play against a world-class team. South Korea is the best team not only in Asian football but also in world football in terms of individual skills, team stability and confidence. It’s a big challenge for us,” he said, acknowledging the gap between the two teams.

“As I always say, we will always play to win. It’s our first home game of the qualifiers. We have to show great mental strength. We have to be mentally prepared and fight together with the passion to win. We will hope to make a good result. A good result means a win,” he added.

The soccer gap between China and South Korea goes beyond FIFA rankings. China is ranked 79th in the FIFA rankings, which is relatively high in Asia, but it suffers from a case of the gonghan whenever it meets South Korea. The all-time head-to-head record is an overwhelming 2 wins, 13 draws, and 21 losses. China’s only wins against South Korea came in February 2010 and March 2017.

Jankovic has been in charge of the Chinese national team since 2023. During his time as interim head coach, he received favorable reviews for his performance against Japan. Since taking over, he has had a mediocre record with three wins, two draws, and three losses in eight games. 무지개토토 주소

The most recent meeting between South Korea and China was in July 2022 at the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E-1 Football Championship. Under Paulo Bento, South Korea defeated China 3-0 in that match. Jankovic was also the Chinese coach at the time, and South Korea went into the tournament with a very experimental roster, looking to discover new faces ahead of the World Cup.

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