FC Salzburg's Hwang Hee-chan Scores in Champions League Debut

  • By Lee Tae-dong

    September 19, 2019 10:32

    FC Salzburg's Hwang Hee-chan led the team to a 6-2 victory over Genk of Belgium in his UEFA Champions League debut on Tuesday with one goal and two assists.

    The Austrian Football Bundesliga kicked off at the end of July -- a bit sooner than the other leagues in Europe -- but few Korean football fans likely paid much attention. Expectations had not been high for Hwang, whose career seemed to have stalled in recent years.

    Hwang Hee-chan of FC Salzburg (right) reacts after scoring a goal in a match against Genk in the UEFA Champions League in Salzburg, Austria on Tuesday. /AFP-Yonhap

    While on loan to second-tier German club Hamburger SV last season he only managed two goals and two assists. After playing in various positions, he was unable to secure a firm spot in the Korean national team, either.

    Two months since he rejoined Salzburg, however, Hwang seems to have regained his form. Hwang has scored five goals and amassed nine assists in eight matches this season. With the season not even half finished, his tally of assists is already higher than the eight he managed in the previous three seasons combined.

    Hwang's crosses and passes have been accurate, and he has formed a good partnership with Erling Håland of Norway. Of Håland's three goals so far, Hwang assisted two.

    Somehow, Hwang seems to have found his groove this season, appearing much more comfortable. "I had a good rest during the off-season, and I feel much lighter physically and psychologically," Hwang said at a recent gathering of the national team here.

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