Both Heung-min and Min-jae collected yellow cards
South Korea’s men’s national soccer team, led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, won 3-1 against Bahrain in the first Group E match of Qatar 2023 at the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup held at 8:30 p.m. on the 15th (Korea time) at Jasim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
With this, South Korea got off to a good start with three points in their first group match.
Korea brought up a 4-4-2 formation. Son Heung-min and Cho Kyu-sung matched the offensive combination, and Lee Jae-sung, Hwang In-beom, Park Yong-woo, and Lee Kang-in stood in the midfield. Lee Ki-je, Kim Min-jae, Jung Seung-hyun, and Seol Young-woo formed a four-back structure, and goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu defended the goal.
Hwang Hee-chan, who scored 10 goals in the Premier League, and Kim Jin-soo, the main left fullback, were excluded from the list due to injuries.
Bahrain fought back with a 4-5-1 formation. Abdullah Al-Hashashi was on the front line and Komail Al-Aswad-Mohamed Maroon-Mohamed Al-Hardan-Mosseth Atede-Amedan was in the midfield. Hajaja Ali-Walid Al-Hayam-Amin Benadi-Mohamed Adele packed the four back. The goalkeeper’s glove was worn by Ebrahim Rutpala.
Bahrain took the opportunity first. In the 6th minute of the first half, Seol Young-woo tripped over while Maroon was breaking through the right side. Bahrain, which had a free kick chance. Al Aswad handled the free kick with his left foot and Maroon connected with a header. The ball crossed the crossbar.
South Korea received its first yellow card in the 10th minute of the first half. Jung Seung-hyun hit Madan with his knee in the process of blocking him and received a yellow card in the process. Korea was warned again. This time, it is Kim Min-jae, who is centered on defense. In the 13th minute of the first half, Kim Min-jae was warned in the process of stopping Maroon. It was a rather unfair warning decision.
Korea created a chance. In the 21st minute of the first half, Hwang In-beom connected a cross from the left side with a header in the box. However, the ball missed the goal.
Then, Korea scored again in the 22nd minute of the first half. After catching the ball from the left side, Park fired a bold mid-range shot from a rather long distance from the goal, but it missed the goal significantly.
South Korea swallowed its regret. In the 30th minute of the first half, Lee Jae-sung on the left side caught the ball that Park Yong-woo cut. Lee Jae-sung immediately hit a low and fast cross. Son Heung-min spilled the ball in the center, followed by Cho Kyu-sung, but the ball went over the crossbar.
A crisis has come to Korea. In the 33rd minute of the first half, the ball that Al-Hashashi stabbed headed through the defense. Madan caught the ball and fired a left foot shot in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper. The ball missed the goal.
In the 33rd minute of the first half, Korea also sought to score again. Son Heung-min, who was rushing into the box after handing over the ball from behind, tried to catch the ball, but failed to make a shot.
South Korea hit the ground again. In the 36th minute of the first half, Lee Kang-in’s sharp cross with his left foot went to Lee Jae-sung, who was inundated. Lee Jae-sung fired his body and shot, but he turned away from the goal again this time.
Lee Jae-sung then broke through the left side again in the 37th minute of the first half and attempted a low cross, but goalkeeper Rootpala caught it this time.
Korea scored the first goal. In the 38th minute of the first half, Son Heung-min saved his shot with intelligent movement when Lee Jae-sung sent a low cross, and Hwang In-beom, who caught the ball from behind, scored a left-footed shot into the net.
With a 1-0 lead, Korea had a chance again. Son Heung-min, who took over the ball from Lee Kang-in in the 42nd minute of the first half, was fouled and collapsed and took a free-kick chance in front of the box. Lee Kang-in, who played as a kicker, tried to shoot himself, but passed the upper net.
The first half ended with South Korea’s 1-0 lead.
In the end, Korea conceded a goal. Bahraini put the ball into the box with a good connection play at the 6th minute of the second half. After that, the ball flowed to frontline striker Al Hashashi. Al Hashashi calmly shot and scored the goal.
In the 8th minute of the second half, when it was 1-1 situation, Korea used a replacement card. Lee Ki-je, who provided an excuse for losing a point, was brought to the bench and Kim Tae-hwan was put in.
South Korea took the lead again. Kim Min-jae passed a fast pass from the left side in the 11th minute of the second half, and Lee Kang-in, who caught the ball, fired a powerful left-footed shot from a far point from the box. The ball rolled perfectly and shook the net.
Korea saw another opportunity in the 14th minute of the second half. After a defensive contest in the box, the ball flowed in front of Son Heung-min, who shot as it was. The goalkeeper blocked it.
Lee Kang-in scored multiple goals. Hwang In-beom caught the ball handed by Son Heung-min in the counterattack and passed it toward Lee Kang-in, who was rushing from the right side. Lee Kang-in scored again with a calm left-footed shot.
In the 27th minute of the second half, Korea deployed Hong Hyun-suk instead of Cho Kyu-sung and Kim Young-kwon instead of Kim Min-jae. In the 37th minute, Korea deployed Park Jin-seop instead of Park Yong-woo and Jung Woo-young without Lee Jae-sung.
Korea aimed for its fourth goal. This time, it is Son Heung-min, the captain. Son Heung-min, who received a sharp pass from Lee Kang-in in the box in the 42nd minute of the second half, shot at the far post, but missed slightly.
Eight minutes of extra time was given in the second half. The game was tied with Korea’s 3-1 victory.