Korea v Uruguay Friendly Preview

Lee Jin-Hyun during training. Photo/ Yonhap

Korea v Uruguay international friendly Friday October 12, Seoul World Cup stadium, kickoff 8pm Korea time / 7 am US EST

TV: MBC / NAVER streaming

The game is sold out (as well as the Korea Panama game next Tuesday)

Gametime temperatures expected to be 10º C/50º F

Squad numbers released for the October friendlies:


Team news:

Koo Ja-Cheol is out with a kidney infection. Ji Dong-Won is out with a knee injury. Both are staying put at Augsburg. Ulsan’s Park Joo-ho returns to the national lineup after his injury at the World Cup.  Reim’s Suk Hyun-Jun received the call up, Bento stating to the press that he’s interested in seeing how Suk would perform. Park Ji-soo (Gyeongnam defender) and Lee Jin-hyun (Pohang Steelers and ex Austria Wein midfielder) earns their first call to duty.

Holstein Kiel’s Lee Jae-Sung reportedly missed the latest practice (injury?) – meaning he may miss out in the Uruguay match but still could make Tuesday’s Panama friendly.

Paulo Bento conducted an intra-squad scrimmage:

Speculating here, but I suspect Bento is going to play a modified version of scrimmage team 1. Here’s how it could look as a 4-3-3:


Being a friendly, expect Bento to use his maximum substitutions to test out different players. If Lee Seung-Woo doesn’t get the start, he’ll probably see action in the 2nd half. Same goes for Hwang In-Beom, Suk Hyun-Jun, Park Joo-Ho, and Kim Moon-Hwan. Lee Jin-Hyun…maybe.  So the big question will be: what does Bento do about Jang Hyun-Su?  To play him or not to play him.  If Bento manages by public consensus, Jang would not see the pitch this weekend. What what it’s worth, looking at his time recently at Tokyo FC, since the September international break, his side has registered 1 win, 1 draw and 2 losses, conceding as a defense 5 goals in 4 matches. Tokyo goes into the break with a 1:2 win at Nagoya Grampus. The 1 goal conceded: an own goal by Jang Hyun-Su.


Bento will be reunited with his old teammate from his Real Oviedo days, the longtime manager of Uruguay, Oscar Tabarez.  The latter said kind words of support for the new Korea manager, “I will support Bento to lead the South Korean team well.”  He also said complimentary things about the Korean program: “From the 1990s, South Korean football has developed like it was having a revolution…From youth level to senior level, they’re playing at a high level and their players are talented. They’ve been progressing for the last 10 years, and I believe they will further show their power.”

Korea is ranked 55th, Uruguay comes in at 5th. The South American powerhouse has had Korea’s number over the years, winning 6 and drawing once with Korea. Korea last played Uruguay in 2014, a 1:0 loss. Korea meanwhile has been on a mini unbeaten streak: since losing to Mexico in the 2018 World Cup, Korea recorded a historic 2:0 win to knock Germany out of the World Cup (their first victory over Germany), 2:0 win against Costa Rica to begin the Bento era, and a 0:0 result with Chile. Bento said in recently that he’s looking for improvements in the offense.

Meanwhile, Uruguay will be without Luis Suarez (Suk Hyun-Jun’s former teammate when they were both at Ajax). Korea’s defense will still have their work cut out for them as they’ll have to contain PSG’s Edison Cavani and Girona’s forward Cristhian Stuani. The latter is La Liga’s leading goal scorer currently with 8 goals so far.


Extra time:

The KFA has their youtube channel posted a corner kick contest between Ki and Lee Seung-Woo. Take your guess on who won:

Also this: Valencia B’s Lee Kang-in makes the Guardian’s list of top 60 best young talents to watch



Lee Jin-Hyun during training. Photo/ Yonhap



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