‘Fifteen points in three games’, Klinsmann’s offense has nothing on you or me

The in-form Klinsmann’s forward line has led to an even distribution of goals.

South Korea cruised to a 5-0 victory over Singapore on Saturday at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in the first match of Group C of the 2026 North American Football Championship Asia Second Qualifying Round.

South Korea fielded a fairly aggressive lineup against a Singapore team that was considered to be below their strength, with Hwang In-Beom, who had been playing a more attacking role, in a defensive midfield role and Cho Kyu-Sung, Son Heung-Min, Hwang Hee-Chan, Lee Jae-Sung, and Lee Kang-In up front. It was a choice to increase the number of attacks to match the opponent’s dense defense.

It paid off in a big way. After the first half, when the final defenders crossed into the opponent’s territory and continued to attack, they were unable to find the back of the net, but after the first goal in the 44th minute, they quickly added more goals in the second half.

The goals were evenly distributed among the attackers. The first goal came from starting striker Cho Kyu-sung. He once again teamed up with Lee Kang-in, who scored a crucial goal at the World Cup in Qatar. He received a cross from Lee Kang-in and calmly finished.

It was Hwang Hee-chan who opened the scoring in the second half. He headed home a cross from Cho Kyu-sung in the fourth minute of the second half. In the 17th minute, Son Heung-min rattled the net with his trademark winding kick. Six minutes later, Hwang Ui-jo found the back of the net. He was the kicker of a penalty kick drawn by Seol Young-woo. Usually, Son Heung-min takes the penalty kick, but on this occasion, he passed the ball to Hwang Ui-jo. The finishing touch came from Lee Kang-in. He scored the winner with a powerful mid-range shot.

Klinsmann’s team had been struggling with a lackluster goal-scoring performance, scoring just five goals in six games before the A-Match in September, but since their last call-up, they’ve enjoyed a string of multi-goal victories. Multiple players found the back of the net during a two-game stretch in October that saw a total of 10 goals (two opponent own goals). Lee Kang-in’s three goals in two games, including a multi-goal performance against Tunisia, were the main contributors, but other players shared a goal apiece. Hwang Eui-jo, Kim Min-jae, Hwang Hee-chan, Son Heung-min, and Jung Woo-young also found the back of the net.

The diverse list of scorers shows that the national team’s strikers have been in great form lately. Lee Kang-In, who has scored in three consecutive games, is also in fine form for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), where he has recorded three consecutive attacking points since the end of last month. Not to mention Son Heung-min (3rd, Tottenham Hotspur) and Hwang Hee-chan (6th, Wolverhampton Wanderers), who are the top scorers in the English Premier League (EPL) with eight and six goals, respectively.

The team’s goal-scoring prowess has given them a lot of confidence ahead of the World Cup qualifiers and the AFC Asian Cup, as they’ve beaten the stingy defenses of Vietnam and Singapore in back-to-back games. Their teammates know that even if they struggle on the field, the strikers will get the job done. When asked about the goalless first half in a post-match interview in the Mixed Zone, defender Kim Min-jae expressed his confidence, saying, “I wasn’t worried because the strikers were good, and I thought they would score goals if we defended well from behind.” 보스토토

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