Lee Kang-in (Mallorca) made his presence felt with a dazzling performance. In particular, he proved why he is being called the ‘next ace’ by ranking among the ‘top’ in various offensive indicators.
On June 16, Lee Kang-in started and played the full match against Peru in the Hana Bank Invitational Korea National Football Team friendly at the Asiadju Stadium in Busan. Despite his performance, the Korea National Football Team (hereinafter referred to as the Klinsmanns), led by Jürgen Klinsmann (GER), lost 0-1.
Lee Kang-in, who has been dubbed the “next ace,” received the most “spotlight” on the day. With ‘captain’ Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) on the bench due to a sports hernia surgery late last month and not being fully fit and healthy, all eyes were on his toes as he was deemed the right man to lead the attack.
As it turned out, Lee lived up to expectations perfectly. Operating out wide on the right flank, he controlled the ball calmly whenever he got it and then peeled away from the defense to attack. The Peruvian defenders played rough, with two or three of them sticking together and committing intentional fouls to stop him from breaking through.
Lee was unfazed, though, and continued to create threatening chances. However, his crisp passes did not lead to an attacking point. This was due to the fact that frontline attackers such as Oh Hyun-gyu (Celtic) and Cho Kyu-sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai) were unable to capitalize on their chances.
In an attempt to break the deadlock, Lee tried to score himself. His left-footed curling shot from the right corner of the penalty box took a fantastic trajectory towards the goal, but was unfortunately blocked. A header in front of goal also failed to find the back of the net.
Although Lee failed to produce an attacking point after creating several threatening chances, he did his job perfectly for the full duration of the match. He was recognized for his performance by being named the Man of the Match (MOM).
After the game, head coach Jürgen Klinsmann (58-Germany) said, “He’s a world-class player now without saying it. “If you look at today, when he got the ball early on, there were two or three defenders on him. He’s always a pleasure to watch and always makes you look forward to the game.”
Their performance was reflected in the stats. According to soccer statistics site Sofascore, Lee created seven chances, the most of any player on the day. In addition, he took three shots and converted them into two shots on target, and sent in eight crosses, which he delivered accurately to his teammates five times. He also made three successful dribble breaks, won five ball battles, drew one foul, made one interception, and made one tackle.안전놀이터
Lee, however, wasn’t smiling because he didn’t win the game, despite having one of the brightest performances of the day. In fact, he told reporters in the joint press area, “I wanted to win, but I’m really disappointed. I will prepare well for the next match and try to win,” he said, before adding, “I’m always trying to be helpful. Winning is more important than anything else,” he said. “I’m trying to do my best every moment. I will continue to do so.”