Asiad star to miss match vs Azkals, but South Korea still team to beat | Inquirer Sports

Asiad star to miss match vs Azkals, but South Korea still team to beat

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 05:12 AM December 28, 2018

The Philippines will have one less problem with Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Son Heung-min expected to miss the AFC Asian Cup opener against the Azkals on Jan. 7 in Dubai, but the South Koreans still boast a strong squad that will be one of the favorites in the competition.

Due to a prior agreement between Premier Tottenham and the Korea Football Association, Son, who led South Korea to the gold medal in the Asian Games early this year, will reportedly miss the matches against the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan in the group stage.

The Asian Games gold medal proved critical for Son, who was then exempted from two years of military service that could have frozen his club career.


Even with Son’s absence, the Koreans still have a quality side that will be handled by Portuguese coach Paulo Bento.


The Koreans arrived in their training camp in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

While the Azkals have yet to release their 23-man lineup, Bento has already unveiled his squad that will also have another player from the English Premier League in midfielder Newcastle United’s Ki Sung-yueng.

The Augsburg trio of Koo Ja-cheol, Hwang Hee-chan and Ji Dong-won are also part of the squad, while Lee Chung-yong of Bochum and Lee Jae-sung of Holstein Kiel are the other European-based players for the Taeguk Warriors, who have won the Asian Cup twice.

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TAGS: Azkals, Football, Son Heung-min, South Korea

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