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Hwang Seon-hong’s fantastic goal… Will Lee Seung-woo make the national team?

Lee Kang-in (23-Paris Saint-Germain) has been a fixture on the South Korean national soccer team since the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and is now a key member of the squad. But there was a “soccer prodigy” in the spotlight long before Lee: 26-year-old Lee Seung-woo of professional soccer’s Suwon FC. The former FC Barcelona youth player rose to prominence at an early age. He was part of the national team for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and won a gold medal at the Asian Games, scoring in the final against Japan. However, after failing to make an impact on the European stage, Lee bounced around the minor leagues, including Belgium, before returning to Korea in the 2022 season in a Suwon FC jersey. He was not called up to the national team after the friendly against Iran in June 2019, and it seemed like he would remain an unlucky genius.

However, Lee started scoring goals in front of interim coach Hwang Sun-hong in a show of force to earn his first call-up to the national team in five years. Lee scored the game-winning goal against Jeonbuk Hyundai in the second round of the 2024 K League 1 at Suwon Sports Complex on Sept. 9.

Lee Seung-woo, who was substituted for striker Ji Dong-won at the start of the second half, picked up the ball in the penalty area in front of the goal in just over a minute, drove past four defenders with his trademark individuality, and rattled the net with a powerful left-footed shot. It was his second goal of the season, following his penalty kick winner in the first leg against Incheon United. It was a combination of Lee’s strengths, including his ability to break through a tight defense and his calm finish. The match ended in a 1-1 draw after Jeonbuk scored an equalizer in the eighth minute of the second half.

On this day, interim national team coach Hwang Sun-hong and head coach Michael Kim (Korean name Kim Young-min) visited the stadium to check the K-Ligers’ physical condition. Hwang, who is in charge of the second Asian qualifier for the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026 against Thailand in late March, is looking for potential players ahead of the roster announcement on Nov. 11. With Hwang “Bull” Hee-chan (27, Wolverhampton), who has been the mainstay of the national team’s flanking attack, out with a thigh injury, Lee Seung-woo has emerged as 메이저토토사이트 a good alternative. Hwang was seen smiling broadly as Lee celebrated his goal with a cheerful dance routine.

Suwon FC head coach Kim Eun-joong said after the game, “Lee Seung-woo’s biggest strength is his ability to break through dense defenses. He can be a good weapon for the national team ahead of the World Cup Asian qualifiers. If he gets the chance, I hope he will be selected for the national team.”

Lee Seung-woo didn’t hide his desire either. “The fact that coach Hwang came to see me was definitely a motivation,” he said, adding, “I would like to go (to the national team) anytime, but it’s not up to me. However, I’m confident that my desire to make the national team will be stronger than any other player.”

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