SOUTH Korea’s number one goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu has been ruled out of the remainder of the 2023 Asian Cup after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday’s training session here, the Korea Football Association confirmed yesterday.
Kim will miss South Korea’s remaining two Group E matches against Jordan today and Malaysia on Jan 25 after helping the Taeguk Warriors beat Bahrain 3-1 in the opening match last Monday.
The 33-year-old Al-Shabab player has been a regular pick since former manager Paulo Bento took charge of the team in 2018 before gaining the trust of new coach Jurgen Klinsmann, playing 10 out of 12 matches since the German took the helm in February last year.
“I’m very sad because obviously he is the top-class goalkeeper, he’s our number one and did so well the whole year and obviously in his entire career. This is very sad for him, for us and the entire team but that’s part of football and you have to swallow it and he will swallow it and come back strong,
“He will get surgery when he’s back in Korea and we have to deal with it. In a tournament things will happen, players will have injuries and we always have to find a solution then how to fix things and move on but obviously we feel for him and wish him to get better right away,” said Klinsmann here.
Kim has displayed a convincing performance in Klinsmann’s seven-game winning streak with the national team starting September last year, only conceding one goal in seven games which came from last Monday’s victory.
Jo Hyeon-woo and Song Bum-keun are Klinsmann’s two remaining goalkeeper alternatives in light of Kim’s absence.
Jo is South Korea’s former number one, holding the goal for the team at the 2018 World Cup before being relegated to the bench under Bento and Klinsmann while Song, on the other hand, has never played a match under Klinsmann.
As of today, South Korea, the two-time champions, are second in Group E sharing three points with Jordan at the top with the goal difference.–Bernama