KOREA REPUBLIC DEFEAT SRI LANKA TO CLOSE IN ON FINAL ROUND…

Goyang City: Korea Republic went three points clear at the top of Group H after a comprehensive 5-0 win over bottom side Sri Lanka in the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Wednesday.

Korea Republic will play their final Group H tie on June 13 against the team in second place, Lebanon, who were dramatically defeated by Turkmenistan earlier in the day with the Taeguk Warriors only needing a draw to seal their place in the final round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and confirming their ticket to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals.

Having made 10 changes to the starting 11 that defeated Turkmenistan last Saturday, the hosts began on the front foot and only some brave keeping from Sujan Perera on seven minutes prevented Nam Tae-hee, the lone holdover from the weekend, from opening the scoring.

But having netted four times in the previous meeting between the sides, Kim Shin-wook was always likely to be the dangerman and he showed why again on the quarter-hour mark, firing home from close range to put the Taeguk Warriors ahead.

Lee Dong-gyeong doubled the lead on 22 minutes curling home a fine left-footed finish from just inside the penalty area. And with two minutes of the half remaining, Kim Shin-wook scored his second and Korea Republic’s third from the penalty spot after Hwang Hee-chan was fouled inside the area.

Hwang added his name to the scoresheet seven minutes into the second half after Perera’s punch could only reach the lurking forward and he returned it with interest to make it 4-0.

Sri Lanka’s night then became even more arduous on 56 minutes when defender Asikur Rahuman received his second yellow of the night card for a deliberate handball and was sent off.

The fifth and final goal of the night came with 13 minutes remaining when substitute Jeong Sang-bin diverted a long range Lee Dong-gyeong effort past a flat-footed Perera.

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