Thursday, June 20

Son-less South Korea lose 1-0 in Peru friendly

Online Desk :

South Korea fell 1-0 to Peru in a friendly on Friday, with the hosts missing their talisman Son Heung-min and top defender Kim Min-jae.

Bryan Reyna scored the only goal in the 11th minute in Busan as Tottenham Hotspur star Son, recovering from a recent sports hernia surgery, watched from the bench.

Centre-back Kim, who won the Serie A title with Napoli, is completing his mandatory South Korean military training this month.

His absence was felt by the hosts as an unmarked Reyna scored from a Paolo Guerrero pass. Peru nearly doubled their lead in the 19th minute when Reyna teed up Guerrero but the shot went just wide.

“The first 20, 25 minutes, you could see that our back line hasn’t played together yet,” South Korean coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.

South Korea’s first real chance came in the 33rd minute when Mallorca’s Lee Kang-in shot from the edge of the box and forced Peruvian keeper Pedro Gallese to make his first save of the evening.

Still winless under the recently appointed Klinsmann, South Korea ramped up the pressure in the second half.

Oh Hyeon-gyu found himself one-on-one with Gallese during a counterattack just past the hour mark but failed to score.

Lee Kang-in and substitute Cho Gue-sung later failed to make their headers count.

Cho got another opportunity in the 89th minute but sent his header high and wide from a corner.

“I think the second half was all us,” said Klinsmann, who previously coached Germany, the USA and Bayern Munich.

“We had enough chances to score one or two goals to win the game but unfortunately we didn’t finish it.”

Despite the defeat, the former German striker struck an optimistic note: “Overall, the energy is very good, the spirit is very, very good among the players.”

Peru manager Juan Reynoso said he was looking to build on the win.

“South Korea are a great team who played at the World Cup. I am really happy we played so well against them,” he said.

“But we’re not going to stop here. We will keep trying to get better.”

South Korea’s next test is against El Salvador on Tuesday.

Courtesy : AFP.

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