Son Heung-Min and Ki Sung-Yeung scores midweek

Koreans in midweek action in Europe scored some sick goals today, first Bayer Leverkusen’s Son Heung-Min scoring the game winner in Augsburg from what looked like a near impossible angle. Only minutes later in Liverpool, rising from the bench after Saturday’s dismal performance, Ki Sung-Yeung‘s headed goal revitalized Sunderland’s limp offense at Anfield stadium, the Blackcats nearly coming back from a 2-0 deficit…

Son scores the game winner for Bayer Leverkusen in the 80th minute
Ki’s header cuts Liverpool’s lead in half in the 75th minute

Son was also involved in the buildup to the first goal. Bayer Leverkusen finally broke a 9 game slump to win at Augsburg, who’s been a surprise candidate for a European qualifying spot. Ji Dong-Won wasn’t in 18, still out injuried while Hong Jeong-Ho was an unused sub (Son in his excitement in the post goal celebration glow, may not have seen his KNT teammate as he ran right past Hong  warming up on the sidelines).  Ryu Seung-Woo was back in the 18 man roster for Leverkusen, but was an unused substitute.

Meanwhile the scoreline in some ways reflected just how close Sunderland was to drawing (or even beating) the Premierships’ 2nd place team. From the Guardian’s Scott Murray who did the minute by minute report with the Blackcats down 2-0:

61 min: A double change by Sunderland. Ki and Johnson, two of the club’s best players, trot on for Giaccherini and the abysmal Wickham.


63 min: The two Sunderland substitutions nearly combine to great effect, Johnson lifting a clever pass down the inside-left channel, the ball an inch or so from finding the toe on the end of Ki’s outstretched leg. A fine pass and a smart run. Liverpool want to watch these two, they are excellent.


71 min: Cattermole makes matchsticks of Mignolet’s crossbar! What an effort! He latches onto a Ki knockdown from the left. He’s running to the left of the Liverpool D, and belts an unstoppable riser towards the top right. It hammers the underside of the bar at a ludicrous velocity and comes back out! So unlucky!


75 min: Ki has caused quite a bit of bother since coming on. He takes a whack from the edge of the area, level with the right-hand post. Agger throws himself in the road of the ball, deflecting the shot out for a corner. From which …


GOAL!!!!!!!!!!! Liverpool 2-1 Sunderland (Ki 76)

A corner’s flung in from the right. Liverpool’s entire defence falls akip, allowing the ball to fly straight through the six-yard area. Ki is on hand to gently guide a header into an empty net from a couple of yards! What a defence! This is Liverpool.


78 min: …Ki again making a nuisance of himself. The home side are looking extremely nervous all of a sudden. What would this team be like with a dependable back line?

Alas, Sunderland just couldn’t find that elusive equalizer, the score remained at 2-1 -with a furious Sunderland comeback not to be.  Still, Scott Murray had this to say post match: “…As for Sunderland, they stay stuck in the relegation zone, but that performance should give them heart for their own battles.”

Here’s a longer match highlight reel of the game, Ki’s contributions coming in later, particularly at the 9 minute mark:
Meanwhile, I’m not sure how long this link will last, but here’s a HD version of Son’s strike (with Korean commentary), his 9th of the season for Leverkusen.
More midweek roundup:
  • Koo Ja-Cheol and Park Joo-Ho were both out injured and missed Mainz loss away at Eintracht Braunschweig. 
  • Yun Suk-Young played only a handful of stoppage time minutes for QPR in their 1-0 win vs Wigan on Tuesday. Surprising given his strong performance last weekend at Middlesbrough, eventually winning Man of the Match by supporters. Given the demanding number of fixtures in the Championship, we may get to see Yun this weekend at Loftus Road as they host Blackpool.
  • Park Chu-Young still out with thigh injury, not in 18 for Watford’s 3-3 draw with Blackburn Tuesday.
  • Lee Chung-Yong played the last 30 minutes of a 1-0 win over Blackpool. After Dougie Freedman brought on his subs, there was almost “immediate dividends” paid after Lee delivered a through ball to Jermaine Beckford – who nearly got one into the net.
  • The Asian cup draw earlier today meted out a fairly optimal group for Korea. Jae and Jinseok deconstructs the draw on the Tavern – and according to them, a final showdown haniljeon with Japan is possible. Matches begin in January 2015 in Australia.
  • Don’t forget: the newest Tavern Hangout will be LIVE this Sunday evening March 30th on the US east coast starting at 5pm. That translates to bloody early Monday 6 AM for Jae and everyone else in Korea, but the Hangout will be on youtube which can be accessed on demand at a more reasonable hour in the day…
K-League Classic midweek roundup:

Wednesday, March 26
Busan IPark
Sangju Sangmu
FC Seoul
Jeju United
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