Wednesday, July 24, 2024

S Korea beat China in 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier

Son Heung-min scored a brace and assisted one goal to help South Korea beat China 3-0 in Group C of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualifying tournament second stage here on Tuesday.

In the opening matches of Group C last Thursday, China rallied to beat Thailand 2-1 in Bangkok, and South Korea thrashed Singapore 5-0 at home, Xinhua reports.

On Tuesday evening, Asian football powerhouse South Korea showed dominance throughout the match with 65 percent of ball possession and a total of 18 shots, 13 more than the host team.

South Korea broke the deadlock just 11 minutes into the match, when Huwang Hee-chan fell down in the box and the referee awarded the away team a penalty, which was converted by Son with composure.

Tan Long was close to find the equalizer for China in the 42nd minute, but his close range shot went off the near post.

Three minutes later, Son headed home his second goal from a corner, before the South Korean captain’s one-on-one attempt was saved by Chinese goalkeeper Yan Junling.

On 86 minutes, Jung Seung-hyun’s header went into the back of the net thanks to a precise free kick right cross from Son as South Korea sealed the 3-0 victory to lead the group with two straight wins.

In the other Group C match on Tuesday, Thailand secured an away victory over Singapore 3-1.

In the second stage of the Asian qualifying tournament, 36 teams have been divided into nine groups competing in a home-and-away round-robin format. The top two of each group will advance to the third stage.

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