PSG's Lee upstages misfiring Son as S. Korea win Asian Cup opener

PSG's Lee upstages misfiring Son as S. Korea win Asian Cup opener

© AFP 2022
January 15, 2024 at 1:45 PM
South Korea were comfortable winners over Bahrain
South Korea were comfortable winners over Bahrain. Photo: HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP
Source: AFP

Paris Saint-Germain's Lee Kang-in upstaged Son Heung-min with two goals as South Korea began their bid for a first Asian Cup since 1960 with a 3-1 win over Bahrain on Monday.

Lee has impressed at PSG since joining from Mallorca last summer and he got Jurgen Klinsmann's side out of trouble in Doha against a spirited Bahrain who equalised early in the second half.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder showcased his sublime skills with a second-half brace after team-mate Hwang In-beom had opened the scoring before the break.

Tottenham Hotspur talisman Son was guilty of two glaring misses and suffered the indignity of a late yellow card for diving in the Bahrain box.

But Klinsmann will not mind after watching his team make a winning start as they look to end their Asian Cup title drought in Qatar.

The German coach left Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Hwang Hee-chan out of his matchday squad.

Hwang, who has scored 10 goals in the Premier League so far this season, has been struggling with a hip injury.

Bayern Munich defender Kim Min-jae was one of two South Korean players booked in the opening 15 minutes, after clattering through the back of Bahrain's Mohamed Mahroon.

The Koreans struggled to find their rhythm and did not create a clear scoring chance until the 30th minute.

Striker Cho Gue-sung made a mess of it, ballooning the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Hwang broke the deadlock with just over five minutes of the first half remaining, dispatching Lee Jae-sung's low cross with a deft finish.

Bahrain came out for the second half in search of an equaliser and they got one in the 51st minute.

South Korea goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu parried the ball and Abdullah Al-Hashash was there to slam home the rebound.

Lee restored South Korea's lead five minutes later, collecting a pass outside the box and lashing home a shot with his left foot.

He bagged his second in the 69th minute, dancing through the Bahrain defence before coolly slotting the ball home.

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© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022