S. Korea keeper Hyeon-woo sidelined

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Seoul, Sep 5 (IANS) Goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo was removed on Wednesday from the South Korean football squad for a pair of friendlies in September with a knee injury sustained during the Asian Games.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said Hyeon-woo will not be available for new head coach Paulo Bento when South Korea host Costa Rica on Friday and Chile next Tuesday, reports Yonhap news agency.

The 25-year-old was South Korea’s No.1 goalkeeper at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, which concluded on Sunday, and helped the country to a second straight gold medal.

Hyeon-woo suffered an injury to the lateral meniscus in his left knee during a round of 16 match against Iran. He landed awkwardly after making a save. Jo missed the quarter-finals against Uzbekistan but returned to action for the semi-final against Vietnam and then the gold medal match against Japan.

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Hyeon-woo, who grabbed international attention at the FIFA World Cup in Russia in June, conceded two goals in his last two matches while playing on a tender knee.

The KFA said Song Bum-keun, who backed up Jo Hyeon-woo at the Asian Games, will probably feature in the lineup for the friendlies. Bento has two other goalkeepers on the roster in Kim Seung-gyu and Kim Jin-hyeon.

The two friendlies will be the first two matches with South Korea for Bento, who was named the new coach on August 17.

–IANS

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