‘Ace DNA’ Lee Kang-in, ‘sprinting instinct’ Kim Min-jae wake up Korean soccer as Tunisia takes over
The spear and shield of Korean soccer’s present and future has saved the ‘Klinsmann ship’ from the brink.
Jürgen Klinsmann’s (GER) national soccer team won a 4-0 friendly against Tunisia at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Wednesday. Delivering on his promise to play attacking football, Klinsmann’s side secured their first back-to-back wins since last month’s 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in Newcastle, England. A third consecutive victory is possible as they host lowly Vietnam at Suwon World Cup Stadium on October 17 for their second A match in as many months.
Lee, who played virtually the entire game until he was substituted for Moon Sun-min (31-North Korea Hyundai) in the 45th minute, was the centerpiece of the national team’s attack. Playing more of a freeroll (a position-agnostic role) shadow attacker, he actively moved between the center of the second line and the flanks, bringing energy to the team. Every time the European big man, who was playing his 15th A-match, made a move, Tunisia responded with two or three players, slowly cracking the seemingly solid five-back, and then his fixer instincts kicked in. With more weight on the flanks than the center, the second half was a one-man show. Lee scored his A-Match debut with a left-footed free kick in the 10th minute of the second half, and completed his multi-goal performance two minutes later with an exquisite turn in the middle of the opponent’s box.
He didn’t stop there. He also contributed to an own goal that made the score 3-0 in the 22nd minute. When Lee Kang-in, the set-piece kicker, sent in a sharp right-footed corner kick, Kim Min-jae, who was part of the attack, leapt up to take a header that beat the Tunisian defender and led to the goal.
Before the game, Lee said, “(Lee) is competing for a starting spot in his team. He is always thirsty for playing time. The national team will help him,” said Klinsmann, who promised to stick with him, and it worked out for the best. “For the national team, I always want to do my best and help win, and I will always try to play close to winning,” Lee said on social media, adding, “It was an unforgettable night. Thank you to my teammates and fans for being with me.”먹튀검증
Kim Min-jae was also flying high. Stepping in as interim captain in place of Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham), who suffered a groin injury, he was dominant. The central defender, who took over the German Bundesliga this season after playing in the Italian Serie A (Napoli) last season, was dominant in all aspects of the game, including precise positioning, clearing, and battling for possession with excellent physicality.
His offensive performance was equally impressive. Despite being at a disadvantage in the set-piece contest, she not only scored an own goal with a well-targeted header, but also initiated build-ups with her bold advances and sharp ball distribution. “I didn’t feel any pressure (to wear the captain’s armband),” said Kim Min-jae, who gave 120 percent to coach Klinsmann’s message that “if we have a good defensive organization even when attacking, we don’t feel anxious. I’m actively communicating and taking care of the balance of the defense. A clean sheet is better than contributing to a goal,” he said.