Aug 23 (Reuters) – Son Heung-min has been named in South Korea’s squad for the opening two matches of the next phase of Asia’s World Cup preliminaries despite injury concerns following Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The 29-year-old was replaced by Harry Kane in the 72nd minute at Molineux on Sunday as Spurs notched up their second successive win in a perfect start to the Premier League season.
“For now he’s alright,” Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo told reporters after the game.
“In the warm-up he had a strange feeling but he was OK to play. I don’t know. Let’s assess him.”
South Korea coach Paulo Bento named Son in his 26-man squad on Monday for games against Iraq and Lebanon, which will be played on Sept. 2 and Sept. 7, respectively.
“Sonny for me is in good condition, as far as I know he has no problems,” Bento told reporters on Monday.
“In the first game (for Tottenham) he played 90 minutes, yesterday he played 70 minutes so in my opinion he is OK and I have no information about any injury.”
The Portuguese coach selected a squad featuring 12 overseas-based players, including Son, but there was no place in his line-up for Valencia’s Lee Kang-in.
The South Koreans are attempting to continue a run of consecutive World Cup appearances that stretches back to the finals in Mexico in 1986.
They have been drawn in Group A of Asia’s qualifying tournament for Qatar 2022, with Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Syria completing the group.
Matches begin on Sept. 2 and continue until March, with the top two teams in each group claiming automatic berths at the finals, while the third placed teams will go into a series of playoffs for a possible fifth Asian berth.
South Korea squad
Goalkeepers: Gu Sung-yun, Kim Seung-gyu, Jo Hyeon-woo
Defenders: Kang Sang-woo, Kwon Kyung-won, Kim Moon-hwan, Kim Min-jae, Kim Young-gwon, Park Ji-su, Lee Ki-je, Lee Yong, Jung Seung-hyun, Hong Chul
Midfielders: Kwon Chang-hoon, Na Sang-ho, Nam Tae-hee, Son Jun-ho, Son Heung-min, Song Min-kyu, Lee Dong-gyeong, Lee Jae-sung, Jung Woo-young, Hwang In-beom, Hwang Hee-chan
Forwards: Cho Gue-sung, Hwang Ui-jo
Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Christian Schmollinger
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