In the absence of ‘captain’ Son Heung-min (30), Lee Kang-in (22-Majorca) was the key to Klinsmann’s attack. Against Peru, he played both on the flanks and in the center.

Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea lost 0-1 to Peru in the Hana Bank Invitational National Team Tournament at the Asiad Stadium in Busan on Sept. 16.

The starting lineup was significantly different from the one against Uruguay in March. Six of the 11 players changed, including Lee Kang-in, Lee Jae-sung, Hwang In-beom, Lee Ki-je, and Kim Seung-gyu. Instead of Son Heung-min and Hwang Eui-jo, Oh Hyun-gyu and Hwang Hee-chan were up front, and Won Doo-jae replaced Jung Woo-young in holding midfield. In defense, Park Ji-soo, Jung Seung-hyun, and Ahn Hyun-beom replaced Kim Min-jae, who is undergoing basic military training, and Kim Young-kwon, who is out with an injury.

The formation also changed. Klinsmann opted for a 4-4-2 instead of the 4-2-3-1 he used in the two games in March. Oh Hyun-gyu and Hwang Hee-chan formed the top two, and Lee Jae-sung started on the left wing instead of the center. Lee Kang-in started on the right wing.
Korea struggles against Peru’s forward pressure…concedes early goal
With so many changes to the roster and a new formation, South Korea struggled to find chemistry in the first half, especially on defense. Ahn Hyun-beom, who was making his A-match debut, showed shaky defense on the left flank, allowing easy crosses to the Peruvian flankers.

Chile, a team with many veterans, played a seasoned game. When Korea won the ball at the back, they immediately pressed forward to disrupt the buildup. Korea’s passes into the attacking third were less accurate due to the pressure. Oh Hyun-gyu was isolated up front.

Peru set the tone and scored the first goal. In the 11th minute, Brian Reyna received a pass from a teammate and found the back of the net with a left-footed shot from the center of the box.메이저사이트

Lee Kang-in keeps the ball under pressure from Peruvian players. /Photo=Newsis

Lee Kang-in (left) battles for the ball. /photo=News
A frustrating first half, Lee Kang-in on his own… ‘Korea’s first effective shot + fantastic decompression show’
Lee Kang-in was the one bright spot in a first half dominated by Peru. He led the Korean offense with his fluid dribbling, unique breakaway ability, creative passing, and sharp shooting.

Korea’s first shot on goal also came from Lee’s toe. In the 33rd minute, after receiving a pass from Hwang Hee-chan, Lee stripped a defender on the right side of the penalty box and struck a left-footed shot. The keeper barely got a hand to it as the trajectory dropped.

In first-half stoppage time, he was surrounded by three opponents in a narrow space on the flank, but his individual effort was the highlight. The 50,000 fans cheered. In the ensuing Korean offense, a phantom dribble followed by a rush also stood out. To stop Lee’s rush, Peruvian veteran Yoshimar Yotun was forced to book Lee for a foul.

Lee Kang-in of the South Korean national soccer team. /Photo=Newsis

Lee Kang-in (right) of the South Korean national soccer team. /Photo=Newsis
Lee Kang-in and Cho Kyu-sung shine again… Courier cross-header threatens goal
Lee Kang-in’s performance continued in the second half. The early stages of the second half were characterized by chances. In the 16th minute of the second half, Hwang Hee-chan’s pass from the side to the center of the field created a shooting opportunity for Oh Hyun-gyu. Then, in the 27th minute, Hwang cut the ball in the opponent’s zone and set up Hong Hyun-seok. Lee Kang-in, who was looking for an equalizer, headed down a cross from Hwang Hee-chan in the 28th minute, but the goalkeeper cleared it away.

He also had good chemistry with ‘World Cup Combo’ Cho Kyu-sung. Cho Kyu-sung came on as a substitute in the 18th minute of the second half and began to combine with Lee Kang-in in earnest. In the 33rd minute, Lee beat his man on the right flank and sent in a cross that Cho Kyu-sung jumped up to head home, but it went just wide of the left side of the goal. It was one of the most disappointing moments of the day. In the 44th minute, Lee Kang-in sent in a cross from the left flank that Cho Kyu-sung once again headed over the bar. Cho Gyu-sung roared in disappointment after the goal.

On the day, Lee Kang-in had three shots, two key passes, and three successful dribbles. He created seven chances, the most of any player on either side. When the game ended 1-0, Lee shook his head and looked at the ground. He was disappointed that he couldn’t equalize. But it was Lee who had the best performance of the night for South Korea.

Klinsmann’s advice for Lee: “He’s a good player, but he needs to improve”
After the match, Klinsmann said, “Lee Kang-in has become a very famous player in South America. The opponents knew him too well. In South America, they watch a lot of Spanish Primera Liga games,” he said, adding that “from the beginning of the game, when Lee Kang-jin got the ball, they were either close or cooperative.”

While Klinsmann praised Lee’s performance, he also noted areas for improvement. “It’s fun to watch him play and it makes you look forward to it. But it’s also a time of growth. It’s time to think about when to dribble, when to turn it into one touch and get into space, when to run and find a place to receive the ball, and when to break through the defense. I think he’s going to be good if he develops well. He’s a good player, but he can’t win games on his own.”

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