Manager Paulo Bento has been in a happy contemplation over who to use as the forward striker.
Bentuho’s ‘lord’ Hwang Eui-jo (Bordeaux) achieved a hat-trick in the last team match before joining the national team, and domestic player Kyu-seong Jo (Kim Cheon-sang-mu) showed his presence at the forefront in Hwang’s absence, forming an exciting confrontation structure. seems to be
The national soccer team, led by coach Bento, will play Group A of the 2022 Qatar World Cup Asian Final Qualifier against Lebanon at Saida Municipal Stadium in Beirut, Lebanon on the 27th at 9:00 pm (Korean time). On February 1st, they will move to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to play the 8th game against Syria. Depending on the results of the two consecutive matches in the Middle East, Korea could be confirmed early on to qualify for the 10th consecutive World Cup final.
Coach Bento selected Hwang Ui-jo, Jo Kyu-sung, and Kim Kun-hee (Suwon Samsung) for the front-line striker position ahead of the 7th and 8th games of the final qualifying round. This is unusual compared to the fact that only two forward-looking forwards were selected during the final qualifying period. It is interpreted as trying to match as many combinations as possible with about 10 months left until the start of the World Cup.
Hwang Ui-jo scored a hat-trick in the 22nd round of League 1 against Strasbourg on the 23rd, leading the team to a 4-3 victory. It was his ninth goal this season and his 27th in league 1 career. It also broke the record for most goals scored by an Asian player in League 1 (25 goals) set by Park Joo-young during his AS Monaco days.
Good news for the national team. There was growing concern because Hwang Ui-jo did not have a ben-goal in five consecutive games after the match against Turkmenistan in June, but he raised his sense of scoring before joining the national team.
Heung-Min Son (Tottenham) and Hee-Chan Hwang (Wolverhampton) were virtually canceled due to injuries in the 7th and 8th rounds of the final qualifiers. After playing home matches against Syria and away against Iran in October of last year, Hwang Ui-jo was removed from the group stage 5 and 6 roster in November due to an injury.
There was a lot of concern because it was Hwang Ui-jo, who had such a big role in the national team, but his junior Kyu-sung Jo filled the void well and made Bento happy.
Kyu-seong Jo, who showed good moves in the 5th group stage match against the UAE and the 6th match against Iraq, started in both evaluation matches against Iceland and Moldova held twice in January. In the match against Iceland, he even scored the long-awaited goal of the match A.
Hwang Ui-jo is clearly ahead in national team experience and killer instinct, but it is unknown what coach Bento will make in the matches against Lebanon and Syria. Considering that Bento is a manager with strong trust in key players, Hwang Ui-jo is highly likely to be selected. However, considering that Jo Kyu-seong’s performance in the recent national team is not very good, the possibility of a surprise start cannot be ruled out.
In particular, there are opinions that Jo Kyu-seong can show a more effective side than Hwang Ui-jo if the opponent plays defensively. This is because Jo Kyu-seong focuses on creating space for the second-line attacking team rather than scoring, and he is more competitive than Hwang Ui-jo.
It is solely up to coach Bento whether to choose Hwang Ui-jo’s finishing ability or to show confidence in Jo Kyu-sung’s altruism. His happy troubles began.
Kim Ki-joong reporter [email protected]
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