Japan is on edge after the sensational performance of ‘golden talent’ Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain). It has been predicted that he will be a major threat to Japan’s Asian Cup title challenge.
“Japanese soccer fans praised Lee Kang-in for leading South Korea to victory,” said Japan’s The Answer on June 16 (KST). “South Korea won 3-1 against Bahrain. They won after a rough game. When sports channel DAZN released the video of (Lee Kang-in’s goal), Japanese soccer fans reacted by saying, ‘It will be a big threat to Japan.'”
Lee Kang-in scored back-to-back goals to lead Kliman to a 3-1 win over Bahrain in their Qatar 2023 Asian Cup group stage opener on Friday. Lee’s left-footed mid-range shot in the 11th minute of the second half was particularly spectacular. Lee picked up the ball near the penalty arc and took a bold shot with the opposing defense in front of him. The shot sailed past the Bahrain goalkeeper and into the net. It was a stunning goal that had head coach Jürgen Klinsmann clapping his hands.
According to reports, DAZN described Lee’s goal as a “super goal by a young Korean talent.” Japanese soccer fans also praised the goal with comments like “good job,” “Korean Messi,” and “a big threat for Japan.” Considering that South Korea and Japan are traditional rivals, it is quite special to see Japanese soccer fans praising Lee Kang-in.
In terms of team strength, South Korea and Japan are the biggest favorites to win the tournament. However, both teams are hungry to win. South Korea is one of Asia”s most dominant teams, but they have never won the Asian Cup. They last won the tournament in 1956 and 1960. It will be 64 years since they won the tournament.
Japan, considered an all-time favorite, is also desperate to win. They have won the Asian Cup a record four times. However, the last time they won was 13 years ago in 2011. Before that, they reached the top in 1992, 2000, and 2004. In this situation, the extraordinary performance of their ‘rival’ Lee Kang-in is bound to be a concern.
Meanwhile, praise poured in from around the world. “He is the new king of Asian soccer,” said Spain’s Dario As, “He took out his wand and worked his magic. His goals remind me of the greatest player of all time, Lionel Messi (Inter Miami),” he said.