SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea beat a short-handed Egypt 4-1 on Tuesday in their final friendly of the month before the FIFA World Cup, wit
SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) — South Korea beat a short-handed Egypt 4-1 on Tuesday in their final friendly of the month before the FIFA World Cup, with striker Hwang Ui-jo leading the way with a goal and an assist.
The long-awaited showdown between the joint English Premier League Golden Boot winners – South Korean captain Son Heung-min and his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Salah – never materialized as Salah did not travel to Seoul due to an unspecified injury.
Son started for the fourth time in a row and was involved in the team’s first two goals in his typically effective performance.
This was South Korea’s fourth and final friendly match in preparation for the World Cup. South Korea lost to Brazil 5-1 on June 2 and beat Chile 2-0 four days later. The South Korean team played against Paraguay, drawing 2-2 last Friday, before beating Egypt in a landslide on Tuesday night.
South Korea will have two more friendlies in September before the World Cup begins in November. The country will also participate in the East Asian Football Federation E-1 Soccer Championship in July in Japan, but will be without some of its top European-based talent for that event.
Egypt traveled to South Korea without Salah, due to an unspecified injury and some other players were also missing. South Korea played without two regular midfielders, Jung Woo-young and Hwang In-beom, while central defender Kim Min-jae was not even called up after ankle surgery.
South Korea took the lead in the 16th minute after getting off to an uninspired start. Son made a long diagonal pass to Kim Jin-su down the left flank to force the Egyptian defense. From there, Kim sent a strong cross to Hwang, who headed in his second goal in four games.
The hosts doubled the lead six minutes later when central defender Kim Young-gwon scored with a popcorn after Hwang headed in Son’s corner.
Egypt responded with a goal from Mostafa Mohamed in the 38th minute.
Substitute Cho Gue-sung extended the lead to 3-1 with a spectacular goal in the 85th minute, and midfielder Kwon Chang-hoon headed in Kim Jin-su’s cross to round out the score.