“In June, we didn’t have Son Heung-min and Kim Min-jae,” says Korean national team coach Klinsmann, and this time, “if we had Lee Kang-in…”

September 8, 2023 | by

Jürgen Klinsmann, 59, called up all of his players who have been in excellent form for their clubs lately, but the absence of Lee Kang-in, 22, PSG, must have hurt.

The South Korean national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, drew 0-0 with Wales in an international friendly at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, England, at 3:45 a.m. ET on Aug. 8.

Since taking over in March, Klinsmann has coached the South Korean national team in five A matches, including one against Wales, but has yet to win a game. After two draws and two defeats in four A matches in March and June, he added another on Sunday.

Klinsmann, who has been criticized for his recent domestic issues, needed a win. It wasn’t just Klinsmann, but also the national team, which hasn’t won a game since his arrival, but it was a lethargic performance from South Korea, which managed just one shot on target.

In March, Klinsmann’s men drew 2-2 with Colombia and lost 1-2 to Uruguay, and in June, they lost 0-1 to Peru and drew 1-1 with El Salvador. With the loss, Klinsmann became the first coach in South Korean soccer history to fail to win his first five games in charge.

“I think we did pretty well in the last four games,” Klinsmann said in a press conference on the 7th before the game. “We didn’t get the result, but I’m happy with the way the team played. We didn’t score many goals, but we dominated the game. In the last two games, Son Heung-min was out with an injury and Kim Min-jae was also missing,” he said, citing their absence as a reason why they haven’t won yet.

In fact, at the time of the June A match, Son was still recovering from sports hernia surgery and Kim was on basic military training.

But this time was different. Both players made the cut. On top of that, Son scored a hat-trick against Burnley in the fourth round of the Premier League just before his call-up, and Kim Min-jae was named to the final 30 for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.

For Klinsmann, it was not a win. They were held to a 0-0 draw in a lethargic performance.

After the game, Klinsmann, who was unable to win despite the presence of Son Heung-min and Kim Min-jae, was asked about Lee Kang-in.

Klinsmann has utilized Lee since his arrival. He only used Lee as a substitute in the first game against Colombia, but started him against Uruguay, Peru, and El Salvador. In June, with Son Heung-min injured and Kim Min-jae unavailable due to military training, Lee built his team around Lee Kang-in.

Lee was not included in the squad due to an injury he sustained with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

“It would have been nice to have Lee Kang-in,” Klinsmann said. He is growing and he is a special player. I think he’s proving that by playing for PSG. When you play against a team that is so difficult to break down, you need a creative player,” he said, adding that even with all the foreign players, such as Son Heung-min and Kim Min-jae, they would not be able to break through the opponent’s defense without a player of Lee Kang-in’s type.

“South Korea was limited to long-range shots from captain Son Heung-min and Hwang In-beom despite a high share of possession,” said the BBC, pointing out that the team relied on individual players’ abilities without detailed tactics in their attacking work. 소닉카지노


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