The future of South Korean soccer, Lee Kang-in, 22, played in front of Busan fans in a Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) jersey. He shared the victory with his new best friend Neymar, signaling a brilliant new start.
Luis Enrique’s PSG won 3-0 in a friendly against Jeonbuk Hyundai at the Asiad Stadium in Busan on Wednesday, with Neymar scoring a brace and Asensio adding another. PSG ended its preseason with two wins, one draw and two losses.
The stadium was packed with fans chanting for Lee before the game.
The 34-degree Celsius heat and the fact that the game kicked off at 5 p.m. on a weekday meant there were empty seats everywhere. The official attendance was 43,520. Despite being 10,000 short of a full house, the energy in the stands was unrivaled in Europe.
Fans responded to the gestures of France’s stars, especially when Lee Kang-in was caught on the scoreboard from the bench.
But it wasn’t all about PSG. Jeonbuk fans, dressed in green jerseys, also joined in the chanting. Jeonbuk was not lacking in organized support either. “We handed out 300 tickets provided by Coupang to the fans,” a Jeonbuk official explained.
The biggest star of the first half was Brazilian superstar Neymar. In his first start in 165 days after an ankle injury in March, Neymar was a wizard in the Jeonbuk defense. Frustrated by the rough defense, he took advantage of the one chance he was given.
Neymar found the back of the net in the 40th minute with a right-footed turner that teased defenders on the left flank of the penalty area. It was a tricky play that caught both defenders and the goalkeeper off guard. Immediately after the goal, Neymar entertained fans with his signature gesture, where he sticks out his tongue with both hands in front of his head. Some have criticized the gesture for mocking the opposition, but in a friendly, not an official match, it doesn’t matter.
In the second half, all eyes were on Lee Kang-in. His pensive expression on the bench and the way he warmed up in the warm-up area drew attention. When Lee finally came on for Hugo Ekitiqe in the 23rd minute of the second half, the cheers reached a fever pitch. Taking up the attacking duties up front, Lee exchanged balls with Neymar and gradually increased the pace of the attack. 메이저사이트
However, PSG’s goal-scoring spree didn’t come from his feet. Neymar added another goal in the 37th minute with a clever penetration. After scoring, Neymar ran over to Lee to reaffirm their friendship. In the 43rd minute, Asensio sealed the win with a left-footed mid-range shot after latching onto Neymar’s backpass. Neymar had a strong offensive performance, playing a part in all three goals with two goals and one assist.
PSG will return home via Gimhae International Airport and begin preparations for the opening match of the 2023-2024 French Ligue 1 season against FC Lorient on Sept. 13. In-season, Jeonbuk will host Incheon United on Sept. 6 in the 25th round of the K League 1.