31 March 2024

Taeguk Warriors, back to one…The ground gets stiff after the rain

By pestfood.com

The Korean soccer team laid the groundwork for its rebound by holding two consecutive matches against Thailand in the second Asian qualifying round for the 2026 North-China World Cup. It was an important turning point for the team to become one again, which was as important as the result of the game.

Last month, the news of the clash between Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), known as the present and future of Korean soccer, was a big shock to fans, apart from the elimination of the Asian Cup semifinals.

The news of an internal feud in the squad was quite shocking ahead of the crucial match against Jordan in the semifinal. Son suffered a broken finger in the process.

Lee Kang-in, who was at the center of the controversy over the drama, personally went to London, England, apologized to Son Heung-min and reconciled, but criticism did not subside.

The disordered atmosphere of the team, which was replaced by former coach Jurgen Klinsmann of Germany, is a scene that shows the current state of the A team that has lost its way.

After much thought, the Korea Football Association appointed Hwang Sun-hong, who was leading the U-23 national soccer team, as the interim head coach only for two consecutive World Cup qualifiers against Thailand in March.

As a result, Hwang drew 1-1 with Thailand, ranked 101st in the FIFA rankings, at the Seoul match on the 21st, but completed his mission faithfully by winning 3-0 in an away match in Bangkok on the 26th.

With three wins and one draw (10 points), Korea is confident that it will advance to the final qualifying round as No. 1 in Group C. It has five and six more matches to play with Singapore and China in June.

Above all, it is remarkable that the squad, which had internal strife, was united again and united as a one-team. In this call-up, the team’s internal strife was more important than the result of the match against Thailand.

Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in, who have to lead Korean soccer together for the next few years, could not be left in an uncomfortable atmosphere. Apart from the reconciliation between the two, the task was to bow to the fans once again and quickly seal them.

Hwang decided to break through head-on, including Lee Kang-in in the entry despite intense criticism.

Coach Hwang said, “If we move on without calling Lee Kang-in, the crisis will pass, but I don’t think this problem will be solved if we call next time without calling this time,” adding, “The best way to solve what happens on the playground is to solve it as soon as possible on the playground.”

After accepting the call-up, Lee Kang-in said, “You gave me so much love, so much attention, and so much support during the Asian Cup, and I want to say I’m so sorry that I couldn’t repay you and disappointed you,” adding, “I learned a lot through this opportunity. I think everyone’s bitter words will be a great help to me in the future, and I think it’s a period of reflection. From now on, I’ll try to become not only a good soccer player, but also a better person and a more helpful and exemplary person for the team.”

It was a de facto apology to the nation.

Lee Kang-in proved his strong commitment through his performance. In particular, he left a strong impression as he became one with Son again.

Lee Kang-in and Son Heung-min scored a goal in the 9th minute of the second half when they led 1-0 in the fourth round of the second qualifying round against Thailand on the 26th. Son received Lee Kang-in’s fast and accurate pass and connected it with a powerful left-footed shot from the left side to break Thailand’s net.

After scoring the goal, Son rushed to him, hugged Lee Kang-in, and smiled brightly. Lee Kang-in also smiled broadly and congratulated his captain on his goal.

“It’s been a long time since I embraced (Lee) Kang-in, and he was so cute,” said Son Heung-min, who smiled broadly. “Many people worried, but when they play soccer, they have a strong desire to win, so they ask for things and argue. Kang-in will be loved again by many fans and grow into a great player and person through this game.” 밤알바

“He is a player who will lead the Korean soccer team. He must have known that 50 million people are watching him,” he said, stressing his responsibility.

Having successfully completed his important career as a “short-term coach,” Hwang will now vie for the 2024 Paris Olympics. He will become the first Korean to advance to the finals for 10 consecutive Olympics through the final qualifying round for the Olympics next month.

Unlike the squad that is firmly united again, it is still noisy outside the ground.