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K League Internationals: November 2023 Round-up Part 1

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In the final international break of 2023, South Korea earn a first competitive win under new manager Jurgen Klinsmann with five different scores on target against Singapore. Meanwhile, in Europe, Martin Ádám was on the scoresheet to help Hungary qualify for Euro 2024, Jasir Asani played almost all of Albania's Euro 2024 place-clinching draw against Moldova, and Anton Kryvotsyuk helped keep Azerbaijan's qualification hopes alive with a huge win over Sweden.

South Korea 5-0 Singapore, World Cup Asian qualifier

South Korea on Thursday won their first competitive match under Jurgen Klinsmann, putting five past Singapore in a World Cup qualifier at Seoul World Cup Stadium. Three K League players started the match, making up three-quarters of a back four that kept a fourth cleansheet in as many matches. Lee Ki-je of Suwon Bluewings started at left back, Seol Young-woo at right back, and Jung Seung-hyun partnered Kim Min-jae at centre back.Two more K Leaguers came on in the second half, those being Jeonbuk's Kim Jin-su and Gwangju's Lee Soon-min. 

Seol Young-woo will be seen as the K Leaguer man of the match as he actually recorded an assist, his first in a Korea shirt, playing the ball into the path of Son Heung-min who curled in from distance to make it 3-0 just after the hour mark. 

Korea put a lot of crosses into the box, 37 in total. Seol Young-woo, looking to lock down that right back spot, attempted seven crosses; of which five found their target (71%) which ranks the Ulsan man top so far in that regard. Seol's 93% passing accuracy ranks him 16th so far, second among the Taeguk Warriors with Kim Min-jae managing 97%. Up next is China away on Tuesday at 9 PM KST.

Azerbaijan 3-0 Sweden, UEFA Euro qualifier

Daejeon Hana Citizen's Anton Kryvotsyuk played the full 90 minutes of Azerbaijan's 3-0 UEFA Euro qualifier at home to Sweden. The Swedes are already out but the win for Azerbaijan gives 'Milli komanda' hope of qualifying via the playoffs, moving level on Sweden with seven points and one more game to go. Anton managed five clearances, three headed clearances, 12 recoveries, won three of his seven ground duels, and four of his seven aerial duals. He completed 21 of his 30 attempted passes. Azerbaijan take on an already-qualified Belgium away on Sunday local time or 2 AM on Monday Korea time.

[READ: Interview | Daejeon Hana Citizen striker Tiago Orobó]

Bulgaria 2-2 Hungary, UEFA Euro qualifier

Ulsan Hyundai's Martin Ádám scored in Hungary's 2-2 draw away to Bulgaria that sealed a place at Euro 2024. Martin Ádám opened the scoring on 10 minutes with that is his third goal for Hungary and second in Euro qualification. The game swung in favour of Bulgaria with goals on 24 and 78 minutes but an own goal deep into added time at the end of the second half earned Hungary the point they needed. Hungary sit top of Group G, four points clear of third place with just one game left. 

In terms of Martin Ádám's contributions, aside from the goal he scored, he managed three total shots and of which two found the target for an xG of 1.08 and xGOT (expected goals on target) of 1.03. He had 18 touches, five in the box. Up next is Montenegro and a potential K League derby of sorts against Gangwon FC's Mark Tuci.

Moldova 1-1 Albania, UEFA Euro qualifier

In the early hours of Friday morning Korea time, Albania and Gwangju FC's Jasir Asani took on Moldovia, earning a 1-1 draw that sealed a place at Euro 2024. Asani started at right wing in a 4-2-3-1 and played almost all of the game but was substituted in the 92nd minute. 

Although Asani wasn't able to score or provide an assist, it was another solid showing from the 28-year-old. He showed 88% passing accuracy, hit the target with his only shot on goal, likewise with crosses, tackles, and long balls played. Albania had to come back from a goal down to earn the draw, equalising in the 87th minute. The Eagles still have one match to go in E, taking on a winless Faroe Islands at home on Monday local time.

Elsewhere, Gangwon FC's Marko Tuci was an unused substitute for Montenegro's 2-0 win over Lithuania and Jeonnam Dragons' Asnawi Mangkualam played the full 90 minutes of Indonesia's 5-1 World Cup Asian qualifiers loss to Iraq.