The two wallflowers are getting used to each other’s company
The chemistry between Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Lee Kang-in (PSG), the national team’s two “wallflowers,” is becoming more and more ripe.
Jürgen Klinsmann’s men’s national team defeated China 3-0 in their second Group C match of the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026 Asian qualifiers at the Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen, China, on Monday.
The victory was South Korea’s fifth in a row since a 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia in September. During the five-match winning streak, South Korea scored a total of 19 goals and did not concede a single goal.
This was a game where Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in, who have already established themselves as the national team’s aces, showed off not only their individual performances but also their synergy with each other.
The duo sparkled together in the first 45 minutes when the score was 1-0. Lee Kang-in sent in a sharp trajectory corner kick that Son Heung-min connected with a sensational header to open the scoring. It was the first time Son Heung-min scored a goal with an assist from Lee Kang-in.
In the eighth minute of the second half, Son Heung-min almost scored on the counterattack when he made a quick break to create space and set up Lee Kang-in. However, Lee Kang-in’s attempt to beat the goalkeeper was blocked by the defender behind him.
In addition, Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in were flying together. They exchanged precise passes and took their play to the next level in China’s tight defense.
Lee Kang-in’s brilliant pass was compounded by Son Heung-min’s speedy penetration.
A member of the national team since 2010, Son Heung-min established 안전놀이터 himself as captain and key attacker in 2018, ushering in the ‘Son Heung-min era’.
He was followed by “Golden Boy” Lee Kang-in, who made his debut in 2019 and has since become an integral part of the national team before and after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, scoring consecutive attacking points in his last four matches.
Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in are now the two central pillars of the national team. It’s exciting to see how they’re working in tandem rather than separately.