South Korea will likely need to build on their form when they travel to take on Lebanon in World Cup qualifying, despite scoring eight on Thursday.
The Koreans top Group G in AFC’s second round of qualifying for the FIFA showpiece, although not by any definitive measure – with Kuwait matching their six points, and plus-10 goal differential.
South Korea coach Uli Stielike demanded his side regather some goal-scoring form prior to their 8-0 rout of Laos, and after getting the response he wanted, the German coach praised brace scorer Kwon Chang-hoon in Hwaseong.
“I think highly of him. Since he was first called up to the national team, I think he’s matured a great deal,” Stielike told Yonhap News Agency of Kwon.
Kwon, who has played for Suwon Bluewings his entire career, hailed his national team-mates, after scoring his first international goals in his fourth cap.
“I had great opportunities thanks to my team-mates. Our goal was to score a bunch of goals, and everyone played a part,” the 21-year-old said.
“I was able to relax and just play my game, knowing my teammates would be there to help out.”
Kwon scored the Koreans’ third and sixth goals, and was goal-for-goal with Son Heung-min before the latter wrapped up a hat-trick in the 90th minute.
The visitors to Saida will face a fresh Lebanese outfit, who played a friendly against Palestine on Monday to warm up for the qualifier – the clash finishing 0-0.
Miodrag Radulovic’s men are third in the group on three points, having joined South Korea in dispatching with Laos 2-0 in June.
That win over Laos was Lebanon’s only success since March 2014, and South Korea will be looking to double their fortunes on the international break and put some breathing space between them and Kuwait in the standings.
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