How to get along with newcomer Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain).
Midfielder Hong Hyun-seok (Hent), who scored the opening goal in the second match of the men’s soccer group E match between Thailand and Hangzhou at the Asian Games on Nov. 21, had a simple answer when asked by reporters: “I will do well on my own.”
South Korea’s bid for a third consecutive Asian Games title was secured with a 4-0 win over Thailand at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Zhejiang province, China, to top their group and advance to the round of 16.
Hong Hyun-seok, who started the previous match against Kuwait from the bench, got his first taste of goal.
The victory was made even sweeter by the fact that Lee Kang-in, who joined the team on the same day, was watching from the stands.
“I had a little chat with Lee Kang-in after the game,” Hwang said to reporters in the joint press area. “I don’t know if he’ll play in the third group game, but if he does, we’ll try to work together well,” he said.
It’s not just Hong Hyun-seok who is hoping for the ‘Lee Kang-in effect’.
Park Jae-yong (Jeonbuk), a 6-foot-2 frontline striker, is likely to be the biggest beneficiary of Lee’s ripple effect.
With sharp left-footed crosses being one of Lee’s greatest strengths, Park will be able to deliver quality crosses if he can beat defenders with his quick movement in the penalty area.
“Lee Kang-in is a very good player and a proven player. I just need to be good,” Park laughed.
Coach Hwang Sun-hong, a former South Korean striker himself, has been coaching Jae-yong on how to respond to crosses from his teammates.
“I can’t tell you what he said specifically,” said Park, who was caught by Hwang during a team training session on the 20th, “but he’s always given me instructions since before I came to China.”
“When a player on our team makes a cross, he explains in detail what specific movements we should make,” he added.
Defender Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk), who joined the team as a wildcard, said, “We all feel Kang-in’s influence. It’s true that he’s a great addition to the team,” said Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk), “and that’s why he needs to keep his physical condition under control.”
Lee, who has been nicknamed the “youngest” player on the age-group national team because he was one of the most accomplished players at a young age, is expected to be the centerpiece of Hwang’s offense in the future.
Off the field, Park Jin-seop said he will play the role of a veteran.
“I’m going to talk as little as possible and open my wallet,” Park said, adding, “There are so many good players. I’m only going to talk briefly (before the game). I’m trying to smile and get along with the players.”
After watching his teammates score from the stands and exchanging high-fives with team officials, Lee was one of the first to leave the joint press area after the game, looking tired.
Lee Kang-in, who joined Hwang Sun-hong’s highly anticipated squad, is undecided on when he will take the field.
When asked at the post-match press conference when Lee would be available, Hwang said, “We need to check (the player’s) condition,” adding, “It’s too early to talk about it here.” 스포츠토토