Since Paulo Bento took over as head coach of the South Korea Football World Cup team in August 2018, no Korean player has scored more goals than Hwang Ui-jo’s 13. After years of virtual obscurity, the 29-year-old forward for FC Girondins de Bordeaux has materialized as the go-to striker for Bento, the safety spigot that can find the back of the net in frantic moments.
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And as South Korea Football World Cup team concoct to resume their FIFA World Cup qualifying tender this week, Hwang may finally have some worthy opponents in internal roster battles. Bento set up training camp in Antalya, Turkey, previous this month and played two friendly matches with mostly national league players, beating Iceland 5-1 and Moldova 4-0.
Because those matches weren’t a chunk of the FIFA World Cup qualifier match calendar, European clubs in midseason weren’t indebted to release their players, and the likes of Hwang were absent. Bento was selected to give two K League forwards, Cho Gue-sung of Gimcheon Sangmu and Kim Gun-hee of Suwon Samsung Bluewings, a prolonged look for the first time.
Cho, 24, counted his first international goal with the South Korea Football World Cup team against Iceland and played another strong match against Moldova. Kim, 26, didn’t score but did everything else well as part of a two-striker creation alongside Cho. To know more about FIFA World Cup Tickets click here.
Cho Gue-sung and Kim Gun-hee are two players with virtuous assets and features, Hwang said in an interview shared by the Korea Football Association (KFA) on Tuesday. Hwang joined the South Korea Football World Cup team in Istanbul on Monday ahead of away FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon on Thursday and Syria next Tuesday.
“My confidence is running high, I am happy to have joined the national team in good form,”Hwang Ui-jo said.
Cho had four goals in 11 matches for the under-23 national team and has shown a beak for the goal in the K League. Kim, far less signaled, only started getting attention from Bento last fall, but he showed promise as a hard-working, two-way force in the current friendlies.
Hwang is no sprawl himself. He enjoyed his first career hat hoax in France on Sunday and with 27 career goals, he is now the all-time leading scorer from Asia in the history of the top French league. Bento has often organized Hwang as his highlighted striker but tested with Cho and Kim as part of the two-pronged attack. Hwang said he should be able to fit into either setup.
South Korea Football World Cup squad will need all the felony they can get from Hwang, in the absence of two injured invaders, Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur and Hwang Hee-chan of Wolver Hampton Wanderers.
South Korea Football World Cup team are presently in second place in Group A of the final Asian FIFA World Cup qualifying round. They can latch down one of two reflex docks out of the group with a win over Lebanon on Thursday.
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