When Lee Kang-in gets the ball, Seol Young-woo reads his mind and runs in the right direction. Lee Kang-in, the center of South Korea’s attack, is finding a good partner to make his life easier.
South Korea defeated Singapore 5-0 on Saturday at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, in the first match of Group C of the 2026 North American Football Confederations Cup Asian Second Qualifying Round. The second leg will be played on Nov. 21 against China.
Lee Kang-in scored all five of South Korea’s goals. He assisted on Cho Kyu-sung’s first goal and set up Hwang Hee-chan’s goal by carrying the ball down the flank. Lee Kang-in’s pass to Seol Young-woo led to a cannonball shot from Son Heung-min, and after Seol Young-woo was brought down by Lee Kang-in’s pass, a penalty kick was awarded, which Hwang finished. The final goal was scored by Lee Kang-in with a strong left-footed shot.
Among them, Seol Young-woo’s involvement stood out. With one assist and one penalty corner, Seol Young-woo’s statistical contribution as a fullback was outstanding.
Singapore, who came out with a well-organized defense, were open to Lee Kang-in’s bursts and kicks, thanks to his versatility. Lee didn’t stick to a single pattern of cutting into the center like a typical left-footed right winger. He mixes up his breaks, passes, and crosses to keep his opponents guessing. When he did break through, sometimes he would hold the ball and slowly advance to break one-on-one, but other times he would whip around at the first touch to confuse his opponent. Sometimes he would go to the center, sometimes he would spread out to the sides. 보스토토 도메인
Seol Young-woo was a good complement to Lee Kang-in’s game. Seol doesn’t have the best footwork or the sharpest trajectory on his crosses, but as a winger, he’s comfortable staying in the opponent’s zone for long periods of time. If Lee Kang-in is wide, Seol Young-woo will move inside, and conversely, if Lee Kang-in dives into the center, Seol Young-woo will spread out to the flanks to spread out the defense. His movements to receive Lee’s passes were also flexible and varied. Even when the opposing defense was lined up, Seol’s unexpected penetration and Lee Kang-in’s through ball were combined.
Seol, who has said that he is inspired by Portugal’s João Cancelo, is skilled at exchanging short passes to disrupt opponents. The more he and Lee understand each other, the more varied their combination play can be. In particular, Lee Kang-in’s heel pass to Seol Young-woo, which drew a foul, showed their mutual trust and chemistry.
The combination of the two showed that no matter how solid the opponent’s defense is, it can be broken from the flanks. Given their age, potential, and good chemistry, it’s no wonder they’ll be eager to continue their run to the next World Cup. To do so, they will need to show that they are fully operational when they face stronger opposition at the Asian Cup in Qatar next January.