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FC Augsburg midfielder ends year-long int'l goal drought

2017/11/14 22:10

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ULSAN, Nov. 14 (Yonhap) -- FC Augsburg's South Korean midfielder Koo Ja-cheol ended his international goal drought in a friendly match against Serbia on Tuesday.

Koo scored in South Korea's 1-1 draw with Serbia at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan. This was his first goal since Nov. 15, 2016, when he scored the winner in South Korea's 2-1 win over Uzbekistan at home in the final Asian World Cup qualifying round.

Against Serbia, Koo started as a support striker behind Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min. It wasn't Koo's usual position since he had been playing as center midfielder for the national team, but the former Mainz and Wolfsburg man tried to become a helper for Son throughout the match.

With his tireless work ethic and aggressive passes, Koo tried to penetrate space behind physical Serbian defenders and help his teammates. But his work mostly went for naught in the scoreless first half.

Koo came through in the second half when his team needed offense the most. After South Korea surrendered a goal to Serbia's Adem Ljajic in the 58th, he earned a penalty just two minutes later after he was brought down by Jagos Vukovic in the box.

Koo then stepped up for the spot kick and slotted the ball behind goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic with his right foot to make the score 1-1. It was his 19th goal in 65 matches for South Korea.

The goal was also Koo's first this season in all competitions. For Augsburg, Koo has played 11 matches this season without getting his name on the scoring sheet.

Koo was replaced by Lee Keun-ho in the 70th. However, that was enough time for Koo to end his goal scoring drought and save South Koreans from the defeat.

South Korea's national football team player Koo Ja-cheol takes a penalty kick during a friendly match against Serbia at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan on Nov. 14, 2017. (Yonhap) South Korea's national football team player Koo Ja-cheol takes a penalty kick during a friendly match against Serbia at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan on Nov. 14, 2017. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr

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