Korea Gets Boost Ahead of World Cup Qualifiers as Son Heung-min Regains Form

  • By Sung Jin-hyuk

    September 28, 2021 10:33

    Korean national football team manager Paulo Bento on Monday announced the roster for the upcoming matches of the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

    Speaking at an online press event, Bento expressed determination to win both matches next month. Korea will face Syria at home on Oct. 7 and Iran in Teheran on Oct. 13.

    Korea is currently ranked second in its group with four points from one draw against Iraq and one win against Lebanon, behind Iran with six points from two wins.

    Son Heung-min (right) of Tottenham Hotspur shoots to score in a match against Arsenal in London, U.K. on Sunday. /AFP-Yonhap

    The roster includes key players in overseas leagues including Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur, Hwang Ui-jo of FC Girondins de Bordeaux and Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers. But Lee Kang-in of RCD Mallorca, who has been performing well in Spain's La Liga recently, was excluded from the roster.

    "Lee did well in the recent two matches [against Real Madrid and CA Osasuna], but other players in the same position as him are also performing well," Bento said.

    In a positive development for the national team, Son has recovered from his injury and regained his goal-scoring form. He missed the second of the two previous World Cup matches early this month due to his calf injury and was sidelined for about 10 days after returning to Britain.

    In an away match against Arsenal on Sunday with his team losing 3-0, Son scored a goal in the 79th minute. It was his third goal of the season and his first in about a month since he scored from a free kick against Watford FC. But he was unable to prevent Tottenham from losing 3-1, its third consecutive defeat after beginning the season with three straight wins.

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