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Korea finishes the first half of 1-0 against Iraq

Klinsmann finished the first half with Lee Jae-sung's left foot leading 1-0.

Klinsmann finished the first half 1-0 ahead of Iraq at 10 p.m. on the 6th at New York University Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The upcoming match against Iraq is meaningful as the final warm-up match just before the Asian Cup. The Korean national soccer team will have group matches against Bahrain on June 15, Jordan on June 20, and Malaysia on June 25 at the Asian Cup in Qatar. The team aims to win the title for the first time in 64 years since 1960 through a tournament that runs from the round of 16 to the final.

Iraq is a formidable team. It won the 2023 Arabian Gulf Cup with four wins and one draw out of five matches, and beat Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the process. Rather than being the second strongest team in Group D, which also includes Japan, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Ahead of the match, coach Klinsmann put goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu in the starting lineup, Lee Ki-je, Kim Young-kwon, Jung Seung-hyun, Seol Young-woo, midfielder Hwang In-beom, Lee Jae-sung, Park Yong-woo, Hong Hyun-suk, Jung Woo-young, and Oh Hyun-kyu in attack.

South Korea has been on shaky ground in defense since the early days of the match. Iraqi midfielder Ibrahim Bayeshi received a penetration pass and hit a left-footed shot into the left side of the Korean penalty box in the second minute of the first half. Kim Seung-gyu quickly narrowed the angle and blocked the ball, avoiding a run. There were some dangerous scenes where the ball that was cleared after hitting the defense and almost went into the Korean goal, but fortunately, it went over the net to avoid the crisis.

In the 19th minute of the first half, Jung Woo-young rushed in and headed Seol Young-woo's cross from the right to his left foot, but it was blocked by weakly heading in front of goalkeeper Zalah Hasan, Iraq. In the 23rd minute of the first half, Oh Hyun-kyu connected the left-footed early cross that Lee Ki-je put in the door from the left rear with a right-footed inside volley shot, but this was also caught in front of the goalkeeper.

Lee Jae-sung's left foot penetrated the frustrating trend. In the 40th minute of the first half, right-handed Seol Young-woo delivered the ball that flowed from a match in the Iraqi box to Lee Jae-sung through a right-footed cutback pass, and Lee Jae-sung, who caught the ball in front of the box, shook the net with a powerful left-footed mid-range shot to create a 1-0 lead.

In the counterattack on Iraq at the 41st minute of the first half, Korea allowed its opponent a left-footed shot that slightly deviated to the right side of the goal, saving a decade. The team headed to the second half with a paid-back lead.
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Sunday, January 7, 2024

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