South Korea’s 2019 Asian Cup quarterfinalists: Current Status

The Journey of South Korea’s 2019 AFC Asian Cup Squad Members: Where Are They Now?

South Korea faced heartbreak again at the AFC Asian Cup as they crashed out in the semifinals to Jordan. This defeat mirrored their fate in 2019 when they were eliminated by Qatar. Despite only six players from the current squad starting in that 1-0 loss, memories of the past stung. The shock exit came after the Taeguk Warriors settled under coach Paulo Bento, heading into the competition unbeaten under his guidance.

The tough loss against Qatar saw South Korea miss numerous chances, failing to find a breakthrough. Abdulaziz Hatem’s 78th-minute strike broke the deadlock, while a VAR review disallowed Hwang Ui-jo’s seeming equalizer a minute later. Qatar emerged victorious, eventually clinching the tournament title by defeating Japan in the final.

Where are the Korean players from that night now? Goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu is now with Al-Shabab in Saudi Arabia after spells in Japan with Vissel Kobe and Kashiwa Reysol. Despite an ACL injury cutting his 2023 Asian Cup campaign short, he remains a key figure for South Korea.

Defensive stalwart Kim Jin-su, after a brief stint in Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr, has returned to Jeonbuk in the K League. Known as the ‘Korean Monster,’ Kim Min-jae has journeyed from China to Turkey and now finds himself at Bayern Munich after a Scudetto-winning spell at Napoli.

Captain Son Heung-min continues to shine at Tottenham Hotspur, claiming the Premier League Golden Boot and surpassing 100 caps for South Korea. Midfielder Jung Woo-young has moved from Al-Sadd in Qatar to Al-Khaleej in Saudi Arabia, with his international career likely concluded.

Young stars like Hwang In-beom, Lee Seung-woo, and Kim Young-gwon have traversed various leagues and countries, maintaining their presence in Korean football. Despite the diverse paths taken by these players since the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, they remain integral to the national team’s fabric. The journey of each player tells a unique tale of perseverance, adaptation, and dedication to the sport they love.

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