SPORTS

Usual suspects make Korean men's football team for Nov. friendlies

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 30, 2017 - 11:03
  • Updated : Oct 30, 2017 - 11:03
Some of the usual suspects made the South Korean men's football team Monday for a pair of friendly matches next month.

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min and Swansea City's Ki Sung-yeung were among 23 players on head coach Shin Tae-yong's team. The 62nd-ranked South Korea will host No. 13 Colombia at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul. Four days later, South Korea will take on 38th-ranked Serbia at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 410 kilometers southeast of the capital.

Shin is still looking for his first win as South Korea's boss. He took over from Uli Stielike for the final two World Cup qualifying matches, and South Korea squeezed into the quadrennial tournament with two consecutive scoreless draws.

Then, earlier this month, South Korea lost to Russia 4-2 and to Morocco 3-1 in back-to-back friendly matches.

South Korean men`s football head coach Shin Tae-yong speaks at a press conference at the Korea Football Association headquarters in Seoul on Oct. 30, 2017, announcing his 23-man roster for two friendlies in November. (Yonhap)

In 2017, South Korea have won just once, while losing four times and posting three draws.

The two matches in November will be the last international friendlies for South Korea this year. They will play at the East Asian Football Federation E-1 Football Championship in Tokyo against Japan, China and North Korea.

Son recently scored his first Premier League goal of the season. Ki, having had offseason knee surgery, also appears to be back at full health. Among K League Classic stars, FC Seoul midfielder Lee Myung-joo and Gangwon FC forward Lee Keun-ho also made the squad.

From the second-tier K League Challenge, Busan IPark striker Lee Jeong-hyeop made the national team for the first time in seven months. He has nine goals in 25 matches to put him at sixth in the competition. He'll be playing for Shin for the first time, after making his first 18 international appearances under Stielike.

In this Associated Press photo taken Oct. 28, 2017, Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur (R) gets away from Manchester United`s Ander Herrera during an English Premier League match at Old Trafford, in Manchester, England. (Yonhap)

A pair of young prospects, Paik Seung-ho of Girona FC in Spain and Lee Seung-woo of Italian outfit Hellas Verona, were left off the national team.

Shin has been in the hot seat since taking over the reins, due to a string of poor performances at both ends. He said he has a lot of faith in the players selected Monday.

"I believe this is the best team I've had as head coach," he said. "I admit we haven't been playing well of late. We have to test ourselves, and we'll try to play good matches." (Yonhap)