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K League Internationals: Lee Ki-je assist for Korea, another Martin Ádám Hungary goal

league 2023.03.29   I   hits 511

The March 2023 international break has come to a close but not before several K League stars were able to provide telling contributions for their respective countries. There was yet another Martin Ádám goal for Hungary, a K Leaguer assist in Jurgen Klinsmann's first match at Sangam, and a Doha Cup triumph for the Korea U22s.

South Korea 1-2 Uruguay

South Korea's second friendly of the March 2023 window, and second under new boss Jurgen Klinsmann, was a 2-1 loss to Uruguay at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Tuesday. Korea's goal came from former Daejeon and FC Seoul midfielder Hwang In-beom with Suwon Bluewings captain Lee Ki-je providing the assist. Lee showed great composure to steady himself before laying the ball into the path of Hwang who fired in to make it 1-1. 

In total there were five K League players named in the starting lineup, goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo and in front of him were Ulsan teammates Kim Young-gwon and Kim Tae-hwan as well as Suwon Bluewings' Lee Ki-je. FC Seoul striker Hwang Ui-jo started up front.

A sixth was introduced in time added on with Jeonbuk's Cho Gue-sung coming on to replace Lee Jae-sung with Korea in search of an equaliser in the seven added minutes. The Taeguk Warriors came close and had two goals disallowed, the first from Ulsan's Kim Young-gwon who, after a length VAR review, was adjudged to have handled the ball when going up for a header, and former Bluewings striker Oh Hyeon-gyu who was ruled offside.

Doha Cup triumph

Over in Qatar for the Doha Cup, South Korea's U22 team earned their third win of the competition following a 3-0 victory over the UAE. All three goals came in the second period and all came from K League players with Bucheon's An Jae-jun opening the scoring on 58 minutes before Incheon United's Hong Si-woo bagged a brace with goals on 79 and 86 minutes. 

This was Korea's third win and third straight cleansheet, enough to earn them the trophy. The entire starting XI was made up of K League players, namely Kim Jeong-hoon (Jeonbuk), Hwang Jae-won (Daegu), captain Byun Jun-soo (Daejeon), Cho Seong-gwon (Gimpo), Kim Sin-jin and Lee Tae-seok  (FC Seoul), Goh Young-jun (Pohang Steelers), Kwon Hyeok-kyu (Busan), An Jae-jun (Bucheon), and Eom Ji-sung (Gwangju).

Still Hungary Martin Ádám

After scoring his first international goal in a friendly against Estonia on Friday, Ulsan Hyundai striker Martin Ádám on Monday grabbed his first competitive goal for his country. In Hungary's UEFA Euro qualifier at home to Bulgaria, Martin Ádám scored the third goal in a 3-0 win. Martin Ádám wore the number nine shirt and started the game. The goal, in what was his 12th cap, came in the 39th minute left-footed. He was then taken off in the 59th minute with the game effectively over and three points in the bag. The 28-year-old showed 62% passing accuracy, had two shots - both of which hit the target - with an xG of 0.46, had 17 touches, and won 43% of his aerial duels. Up next for Hungary is Montenegro in Euro qualification in June.

Asani's Albanian bow

Gwangju FC winger Jasir Asani made his international debut on Monday night, starting Albania's UEFA Euro qualifier away to Poland. The game ended 1-0 to Poland and Asani, donning the number nine shirt, started on the left-hand side of an attacking midfield three in a 4-3-1-2 before being taken off in 70th minute. He showed 69% passing accuracy, had 38 touches, was 67% successful in his dribbles, and landed two out of his seven crosses attempted. 

Sweden 5-0 Azerbaijan

Daejeon Hana Citizen's Anton Kryvotsyuk on Monday played the full 90 minutes of Azerbaijan's 5-0 loss to Sweden. Anton played at centre back in a back four and showed 86% passing accuracy, had 72 total touches, made one successful dribble, was 67% accurate for long balls, won all of his tackles, made two blocks, three clearances, three interceptions, and eight recoveries. 

Off the bench against Burundi

Jeonnam Dragons' wingback Asnawi Mangkualam came off the bench in Indonesia's 2-2 draw with Burundi, the second of two friendly matches in the space of a week against the landlocked African nation. Asnawi was introduced in the 59th minute in place of Pratama Arhan who himself had been on the bench and only entered the field in the 24th minute. 

Indonesia found the lead in the 61st minute through Witan Sulaeman but goals from Saido Berahino and Abedi Bigirimana in the 90th and 90th minutes respectively turned the game on its head. However, Jordi Amat found a 94th-minute equaliser to earn a last-gasp draw.