Lee Kang-in Shines Alone, Sad Struggle… ‘Only Korean Player’ Best 11 in Game 3 of the Asian Cup

Lee Kang-in (23, Paris Saint-Germain) was selected as the best 11 in the third group match of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup. It is the second selection of this tournament after the first match, and the only best 11 selection for a Korean player. This means that Lee Kang-in was the only player who showed impressive performance against Malaysia and the group’s weakest players in Game 3. It is a sad reality.

Lee Kang-in was listed as the right midfielder of the 3-4-3 formation in the best 11 of the third group match of the tournament, which AFC released on social media (SNS) on the 26th (Korea time). Lee Kang-in was also selected as the best 11 along with Hwang In-beom (Turbena Zvezda) in the first round, and this time he was selected as the only one.라바카지노도메인

It meant that his performance in Game 3 was so impressive, and it also meant that there was no Korean player other than Lee Kang-in who shone. Lee Kang-in started as a right midfielder in the third Group E match against Malaysia, assisted Jung Woo-young (Stutgart) in the 21st minute of the first half, and scored a left-footed free-kick in the 38th minute of the second half, scoring one goal and one assist. It is the second multi-attack point of this tournament after scoring multiple goals in the first match against Bahrain.

However, other than Lee Kang-in, there was no Korean player’s name in the best 11 in Game 3. It is all the more regrettable considering that the final opponent was Malaysia, which was considered the weakest, and that it was even the best match ever with manager Jürgen Klinsmann without rotation. If he had a great victory against Malaysia, not only Lee Kang-in but also other players could have naturally made it to the best 11. This means that no player showed that good performance and at the same time, Klinsmann’s tactics were not supported.

In fact, head coach Klinsmann deployed a large number of key players, including Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), against Malaysia in the final group match of the tournament held at Al-Zanub Stadium in Al-Wakra, Qatar on the 25th. The FIFA ranking was 23rd for South Korea and 130th for Malaysia. Above all, South Korea was in a situation where seven players, including Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae and Hwang In-beom, were in “warning trouble.” As there was a high possibility of a round-of-16 match between Korea and Japan, the possibility of a break against Malaysia was weighed, but coach Klinsmann operated Plan A without fail.

The result was a disastrous 3-3 draw. Despite the objective power gap and the de facto operation of the best lineup, the team had a fierce battle with Malaysia, ranked 130th in the FIFA rankings. Jung Woo-young scored the first goal early in the 21st minute after Lee Kang-in’s assist, but lost consecutive goals in the 6th and 17th minutes of the second half, erasing his pride. However, Lee Kang-in scored a free kick goal to save his team from the brink in the 38th minute of the second half, and Son Heung-min scored a come-from-behind goal in the extra time, but his defense collapsed in the opponent’s counterattack in the 15th minute of extra time, leading to an equalizer throughout the game.

The second half of the final Group E match between South Korea and Malaysia at the 2023 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup held at Al-Wakra Al-Zanub Stadium in Qatar on the 25th (local time). Team Korea’s Lee Kang-in is kicking a tie-breaking free kick. Yonhap News

The individual players’ performance was also disappointing, but above all, it was also a game in which question marks remained stronger in coach Klinsmann’s tactics. The wide gap between the ball and the number of balls in the empty midfield led to a disappointing performance throughout the game, and it was difficult to show any offensive tactics. The fact that there was no field goal against Malaysia, including corner kicks, free kicks and penalties, also meant that there were no offensive tactics and strategies.

Although Lee Kang-in was involved in two of Korea’s three goals with his sharp left foot, AFC could not find any other shining Korean players other than Lee Kang-in. It was a natural step considering the results of the defense, which collapsed with three runs, as well as the strikers, who made a field goal against Malaysia, ranked 130th in the FIFA rankings. Moreover, only two players, Lee Kang-in and Hwang In-beom, were listed as the best 11 players in the first to third group matches of this tournament, and only Lee Kang-in was selected twice alone, and other players’ presence was insignificant. It is truly Lee Kang-in’s unfortunate struggle.

Meanwhile, AFC selected Malaysia’s Faisal Halim, who scored a goal against South Korea, and Ayase Ueda, the top scorer of the tournament, as the best 11 strikers in the third round. Along with Lee Kang-in, Parvijon Umarbayev, Tajikistan, Mehdi Taremi, Iran, and Ali Jasim (Iraq) were named as midfielders. Palestinian skipper Musab Al-Bharat, Abdullah Al-Kaibari of Saudi Arabia, and Farooch Saifiev of Uzbekistan were named as defense players, while Saranon Anouin of Thailand was named as goalkeeper.

South Korea, which ranked second in Group E with a 3-3 draw against Malaysia, will face Saudi Arabia, ranking first in Group F, in the round of 16 at 1 a.m. on the 31st at Education City Stadium in Alayyan, Qatar. Saudi Arabia defeated Oman and Kyrgyzstan 2-1 and 2-0 respectively in Group F, and then tied with Thailand without a goal. The FIFA ranking is 56th, lower than that of South Korea, and the previous record is tight with five wins, eight draws and five losses. In September last year, South Korea won 1-0 with Cho Kyu-sung’s winning goal in the warm-up match held in Newcastle, England.

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