Klinsmann ‘joins Lee Ki-Jeong at the top’, builds on first afternoon of training
The Klinsmanns held their first ‘afternoon training session’ in Doha, Qatar, in good spirits. The team prepared for the Asian Cup Round of 16 clash against Saudi Arabia by practicing to make up for a disappointing build-up in the group stage.
Jürgen Klinsmann’s men will take on Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2023 at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, on July 31 at 1:00 p.m. (local time).
In preparation for the match against Saudi Arabia, Klinsmann’s team trained at the Al Egla Training Center in Doha on the 28th.
The previous day, all 26 Taegeuk Warriors showed up at the training center, but only 25 players participated in training, including Moon Sun-min (Jeonbuk). According to a team official, Moon suffered a right hamstring injury during training the day before and is currently at home recovering and resting.
Despite Moon’s absence, Lee Ki-je (Suwon) joined the team for training. After injuring his right hamstring in the second group game against Jordan, Lee had practiced individually the day before and quickly returned to team training.
A national team official said, “His physical condition is improving faster than we feared. He has a strong will,” said a team official, adding, “It is unclear whether he will play against Saudi Arabia, but he will participate in training as usual.”
The team’s training schedule changed today. Since arriving in Qatar on October 10, the team has been training in the morning local time and resting in the afternoon. However, given the fact that the round of 16 matches will be played in the evening, the team decided to start training in the afternoon.
“The team atmosphere is very good,” said Oh Hyun-gyu, the national team’s forward, “and the quality of training will be better if we train in the afternoon because the weather is very nice.”
Indeed, the team entered the training center with smiles on their faces. The players were in good spirits for their first afternoon training session. After a brief lull following the group stage loss to Malaysia on Aug. 25, the team seemed rejuvenated. Each player warmed up with a ball and prepared for the drills.
After Coach Klinsmann gathered the players and gave a short speech, the players split into two groups. One group worked on balance drills, while the other group worked on build-ups under Coach Chaduri. “One-two pass strong!” and “Good touch!”, Coach Chaduri encouraged the players to refine their passing mechanics to take the pressure off the opposition.
The team is confident in their chances against the Saudis, who have only conceded one goal in the tournament.
“We are ready,” said Oh Hyun-gyu. We will show it with our performance, not our words,” he said, adding, “We have analyzed Saudi Arabia’s power, and we can win if we play the game we have prepared.”