Son Strikes, but South Korea Stalled by Thailand in World Cup Qualifier

In a World Cup qualifier marked by Son Heung-min’s goal, South Korea faced a setback as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Thailand at home, marking their first match since the departure of Jurgen Klinsmann.

The game also marked the first appearance since reports emerged of a clash between captain Son and Paris Saint-Germain’s Lee Kang-in during the Asian Cup, where South Korea suffered a 2-0 defeat to Jordan in the semi-finals. Son sustained a dislocated finger in the altercation at their team hotel in Qatar.

Despite the stalemate, South Korea maintains their position atop the group standings, boasting seven points from three matches in the quest for qualification for the 2026 World Cup.

Under the interim management of under-23 coach Hwang Sun-hong following Klinsmann’s departure, South Korea seized the lead three minutes before halftime, courtesy of a goal by Spurs’ Son.

However, Thailand retaliated just after the hour mark, as Suphanat Mueanta capitalized on defensive lapses to level the score.

Despite South Korea’s relentless efforts to clinch the win, they were thwarted by Thailand’s resolute defense, leaving the hosts frustrated in front of a capacity crowd at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.

With the tie, attention turns to the rematch scheduled in Bangkok on Tuesday, as both teams seek to secure crucial points in their World Cup qualifying campaign.

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