A three-way battle for Tim Klinsmann’s starting striker spot continues.
The South Korean men’s national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, will host Peru in an international friendly on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Busan Asiad Stadium. It will be the first A-match in Busan since the East Asian Football Confederation (EAFF) E-1 Championship in December 2019. The squad convened in Busan on Wednesday afternoon and began training.
Klinsmann’s position as a striker is currently up for grabs without a clear favorite. Hwang Eui-jo was a longtime starter under former coach Paulo Bento. In the run-up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he was thrust into the spotlight and performed well at the tournament, 메이저놀이터 scoring a single multi-goal game. Since the World Cup, Oh Hyun-gyu, who accompanied the team to the tournament as a reserve, has been on the rise. Since arriving in Europe in the winter transfer window, Oh has performed well enough to cement his place in the national team. He has scored six league goals despite mostly coming on as a substitute.
In March, the first call-up under Klinsmann, he was given alternating opportunities. Cho Kyu-sung and Hwang Eui-jo, who were on the World Cup roster, started against Colombia and Uruguay, respectively, playing 60 and 70 minutes. Oh Hyun-gyu came off the bench for the second straight game.
Klinsmann, who had watched the trio’s performances up close, recalled Hwang, Cho, and Oh ahead of the June A match, saying, “There are players who score more goals in the K League, but we have strikers we believe in.” Hwang and Cho have responded to Klinsmann’s choice by scoring two goals in two games each since the roster was announced.
The competitive system is expected to continue in the two June A matches against Peru and El Salvador. Speaking on the first day of the call-up, Klinsmann said: “These are players who can score goals. We’re going to give them a lot of playing time in the next two games. I’m looking forward to seeing them score,” he said of his plans for the forward lineup.
Hwang Eui-jo and Cho Kyu-sung, who joined the team after playing a K League match the day before, focused on recovery in their first training session. They did some light running and stretching. Oh Hyun-kyu, who arrived in Korea after the season, practiced with the team normally. He participated in 6-on-3 offensive and defensive drills. He teamed up with Hwang Hee-chan, Moon Sun-min, Lee Kang-in, Hwang In-beom, and Hong Hyun-seok to face the center back combination of Park Ji-soo and Park Kyu-hyun.