Hwaseong: Korea Republic were simply unstoppable as they sailed to a 8-0 win over Sri Lanka in Group H of the Asian Qualifiers at the Hwaseong Stadium on Thursday.
Kim Shin-wook starred with four goals, Son Heung-min fired two while Hwang Hee-chan and Kwon Chang-hoon added one each as Korea Republic ensured their bid to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 progresses smoothly, having defeated Turkmenistan 2-0 in their opening tie last month.
For Sri Lanka, it was their third consecutive defeat, having fallen to Turkmenistan (2-0) and DPR Korea (1-0) in September.
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Backed by a capacity crowd, Korea Republic seized control from the start and after 10 minutes of prodding, Hong Chul collected Lee Kang-in’s through pass and as the Sri Lanka defenders’ closed in on him, he relayed the ball to an unmarked Son who unleashed a stinger to beat ‘keeper Sujan Perera to open the scoring.
Son turned provider seven minutes later when Perera’s goal kick was headed back into his direction, and the Tottenham Hotspur livewire surged down the left flank, before his grounded cross into the box was met by a sliding Shin-wook to double the East Asian side's advantage.
The Taeguk Warriors were relentless as Hwang got into the goalscoring act after losing his marker to head home Lee’s corner-kick in the 20th minute.
At the half-hour mark, Korea Republic’s quick passes gave Kim Moon-hwan enough space to deliver the ball into the penalty box and Shin-wook scored with a header.
Sri Lanka suffered another setback deep into first half added time as defender Chalana Chameera was penalised for a handball. Son made no mistake in converting the penalty.
Little changed for Sri Lanka in the second half as the Korean pressure continued and a series of passes in the 54th minute led to Shin-wook calmly slotting the ball past goalkeeper Perera to complete his hat-trick.
Shin-wook was at it again 10 minutes later as he rose highest to head in Hong Chul’s brilliant delivery.
Kwon Chang-hoon, who came off the bench to replace Son at the hour-mark, proved a worthy replacement as he unleashed a left-footed strike into the bottom corner of the net in the 77th minute, courtesy of Hwang’s assist.
With three points firmly secured, Korea Republic cooled off in the final minutes as they set their eyes on Tuesday's clash with DPR Korea in Pyongyang.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will hope to get points on the board when they host Lebanon at the Colombo Racecourse Stadium.
Photos: Korea Football Association
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