An interesting way to start the international break, positive happenings for some Korean footballers abroad in Europe, let’s roundup:
Lee Chung-Yong has been overlooked during his stint thus far at Crystal Palace – but new manager Frank de Boer – under pressure and starting at a 0:1 HT score against Swansea -looked to the Blue Dragon to replace the struggling Patrick van Aanholt after the break. Lee played though some rustiness to make some marginal impact – a questionable non-call from the ref as he was brought down in the box, which otherwise might have gotten him a chance on goal. Swansea would snag another goal and get their first victory as the hapless hosts regroup to figure out how to survive the season. Glass half full: Lee got in some crucial 45 minutes in his first Premier League match of the season. Glass half empty: CP is on zero points and zero goals – the entire team struggling to get out of the gate and a manager under fire.
Ki Sung-Yeung returned to Korea early for Int’l break with Swansea’s blessing. Officially recovering from knee surgery, it is thought that Ki would be fit enough to feature in Korea’s WCQ against Iran just in time, but that is not entirely certain.
Son Heung-Min made his first start of the season for Spurs – and as I twittered post match: not bad but not spectacular. Still in his arm brace, Son had a mix of good pace and quick incisive passing, but lost the ball on a few dribbling mis-adventures. He had a good run that saw him get behind the defense and go one on one with the keeper but flagged offsides (the replays showed him onsides -by a good 2 feet! Even the announcers rued that botched refereeing). He did well running into the area tracking down a long ball to him – Son headed the ball with laser accuracy to the feet of Dele Alli -but his shot was deflected. Spurs as a whole had trouble getting into the net – Kane, who has traditionally had trouble scoring in August, had 5 or 6 chances -all for naught. By the time Son was subbed off at the 70th minute (with Spurs ahead 1-0 on a goalmouth scramble with Alli goal), he began to run out of gas, replaced by Sissoko. A stoppage time defensive collapse (again) saw Burnley score against the run of form and Spurs had to settle for a measly point instead of their first PL victory at Wembley. The “wembley” curse is still on, but it can’t last the whole season for the Spurs…right? Right?
Koo Ja-Cheol put in a 76 minute shift for Augsburg, they claimed their first point of the season with a 2-2 draw against Borussia M’Gladbach.
Ji Dong-Won returned to the 18 for Augsburg after recovering from niggling injuries over the summer.
Kwon Chang-Hoon started and put in a 56 minute shift for Dijon. The ex-Suwon Bluewing attacking midfielder did well to hustle to grab his first goal last week, but struggling to get into rhythm before getting subbed off. Dijon would win 2-1 at home against Montpellier.
Hwang Hee-Chan not in the 18 for RB Salzburg with a knee injury. The striker has flown to Korea to get assessed by the KNT on his match fitness against Iran. RB Salzburg would lose away to Sturm Graz 1:0 – Sturm Graz increased their lead at the top of the table to 5 points over 2nd place Salzburg.
Lee Jin-Hyun scored in his debut for Austria Wein on Sunday away against Admira, winning the match 1:3. The goal came in the 76th minute and sealed the deal, for the surging Austria Bundesliga squad, who leapfrogged their way into 3rd place in the table, just 3 points behind Salzburg. Lee Jin-Hyun is on a one year loan from Pohang Steelers. If the 20 year old center midfielder has a breakthrough season, Austria Wein has options to purchase his contract for a potential 3 year deal.
That’s all for this quick roundup (I’m on the road at the moment), we’ll have more coverage of the all important Korea v Iran WCQ showdown on August 31st 8AM US EST / 9PM Korea Time. Follow the Tavern on Twitter for more up to date KNT and KPA related coverage. We leave you with highlights from Lee Jin-Hyun’s debut start and first goal for Austria Wein: