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    South Korea boost their World Cup qualification hopes with victory against Iraq

    Jeong Woo-Yeong

    Football   |   November 17, 2021

     

    South Korea is aiming to secure an automatic World Cup qualification and it continues its run with another 3-0 win over Iraq.

    The team’s captain Son Heung-min scored his 30th international goal while young midfielder Jeong Woo-Yeong also scored his first.

    Before both scored, Lee Jae-sung had given the visitors the lead in the first half. Korea made it a walk in the park for the clean sheet at Thani bin Jassim Stadium.

    The win has also extended their undefeated streak to six matches in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

    So far, Korea has secured 14 points from four victories and two draws. They have temporarily moved to the top of Group A before Iran defeated Syria on Tuesday to go back to the summit of Group A.

    Syria has been playing home matches in Qatar for security reasons. They have no chance of even making it to the playoff having recorded four draws and two losses.

    South Korea on the other hand had recorded three previous victories, which were all by a single goal.

    South Korea continued from where they stopped against the United Arab Emirates, producing a fairly entertaining performance.

    Although they were patient with the ball against Iraq’s low block, which might hurt them with nothing to lose on their part.

    Coincidentally, it was the same stadium that So, who plies his trade with Tottenham Hotspur scored his first international goal in 2011. The striker was among those who lost early chances as his team dominated the encounter.

    South Korea kept on knocking on Iraq’s door and were eventually rewarded in the 33rd minute.

    Son was instrumental to the opening goal. He released a though pass for fullback Lee Yong free on the right-wing, and his cross found Kim Jin-Su on the opposite side.

    After being challenged by Mohammed Qasim from behind, Kim who couldn’t shoot the ball managed a pass to Lee Jae-sung, who struck it home with his left foot from the right side of the box.

    While Iraq was pushing back on offence for an equalizer in the second half, South Korea doubled their lead in the 74th minute on Son’s penalty. They were rewarded with a spot-kick after Ali Adnan fouled forward Cho Gue-sung in the box.

    Jeong added the third five minutes later and Son was also involved. After moving into the box on the right side, Son passed on an open look to defer to Hwang Hee-chan on the other side.

    Hwang released it for Jeong, who struck the ball to the top shelf for his first international goal in his third cap.

    Iran defeated Syria 3-0, China and Australia drew 1-1, while Oman lost 1-0 to Japan.

     

    Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed

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