The ‘next ace in the hole’ was once again the man to lead the attack in the absence of ‘captain’ Son Heung-min (30-Tottenham Hotspur). He made his presence felt, creating several threatening chances, especially when he had the ball. Lee Kang-in (22-Mallorca).
Lee started and played the full match against Peru in the June Hana Bank Invitational at the Asiad Stadium in Busan at 8 p.m. Despite his performance, the South Korean national team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann (58-Germany), lost 0-1.
With Son Heung-min still recovering from sports hernia surgery late last month, it was Lee Kang-in who received the most “spotlight” on the day, especially since he is considered the “next ace” and has the ability to spearhead the attack.
As it turned out, Lee lived up to expectations perfectly. Operating out wide on the right flank, he would calmly control the ball whenever he got it and then peel back the defense to launch his attack. To stop him from breaking through, the Peruvian defenders would play rough, even committing intentional fouls.
Undaunted, Lee continued to create threatening chances. In the 28th minute, he changed direction with one touch and sent a kill pass forward. However, the penetrating Oh Hyun-kyu (22-Celtic), who had virtually a one-on-one opportunity, fired wide.
In an effort to break the deadlock, Lee took a shot of his own. In the 34th minute, he curled a left-footed strike from the right corner of the penalty box that took a fantastic trajectory towards goal, but was unfortunately saved by goalkeeper Pedro Gueye (33-Orlando City).
When things didn’t go his way in the attack, Lee tried a variety of moves, including dropping into the center of the field and switching positions on the left and right flanks. He also tried to create chances with sharp kicks from set pieces. In the 28th minute of the second half, he hit a header on the doorstep, but it was saved by goalkeeper Gayesse. Four minutes later, he drove down the right flank and sent a cross in front of Munjeon, but Cho Kyu-sung (25-North Korea) headed it just wide of the goal. 스포츠토토
Despite creating several threatening chances and failing to produce an attacking point, Lee did his job perfectly for the full duration of the match. He was rewarded for his efforts with the Man of the Match (MOM) award.