Thursday, April 26, 2018

South Korea 3 Qatar 2: Son´s star continues to rise

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 6 Oct 2016


Son Heung-min put in a fine performance to help 10-man South Korea to a dramatic 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over Qatar in Suwon.

The Tottenham star provided the assist for Ki Sung-yueng’s opener, before eventually giving his side victory after the break with a fine finish.

Ji Dong-won had previously got Korea back on level terms after goals from Hassan Khalid and Sebastian Soria had handed Qatar a half-time lead.

Hong Jeong-ho was sent off with 24 minutes remaining, but South Korea held on and have now collected seven points from three games in Group A, while Qatar remain pointless in bottom spot.

Uli Stielike’s side had every reason to be confident heading into the game following their fine head-to-head record against Qatar in World Cup qualifiers, winning two and drawing one of their previous three encounters.

And the home side started the match brightly as both Jang Hyun-soo and Jung Woo-young threatened with dangerous long-range strikes, before captain Ki handed them the lead in the 11th minute.

Son found the Swansea City midfielder almost 25 yards from goal and Ki did not hesitate as he beat goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb with a low shot into the far corner.

Ki could have struck again from 10 yards out, only to see Al Sheeb deny him with his legs to keep Qatar’s chances alive – and the visitors immediately made Korea pay for their skipper’s miss.

The referee had no choice but to point to the spot after Hong brought down Soria inside the area in the 16th minute and Hassan Khalid had no trouble finding the net as he blasted down the middle from 12 yards to send goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu packing.

Qatar seemed happy to sit deep and try to hit Korea on the counterattack and that strategy paid off in the final minute of the first half. Soria’s initial attempt was blocked by a defender, but Hassan Khalid did well to set up the striker up and he coolly lifted his finish over Kim to make it 2-1.

The home side pushed hard for the equaliser early in the second half and they were rewarded when Ji struck in the 56th minute, firing a shot past Al Sheeb after good work from substitute Kim Shin-wook.

Stielike’s men continued to cause the Qatar defence all kinds of trouble after the break and Son handed them the lead just three minutes after the leveller. Ki set up the Tottenham attacker with a clever throughball and the in-form attacker curled a low shot in the far corner to restore his side’s lead.

Qatar received a welcome boost when Hong received his second yellow card after pulling back Soria in the 66th minute, but the visitors were unable to take advantage of their numerical advantage as South Korea held on for victory.


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