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Lee Kang-in of Korea, center, scores against Bahrain during the teams' Group E match at the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Monday. Yonhap

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Lee Kang-in scored a brace as Korea defeated Bahrain 3-1 to open their title bid at the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in Qatar on Monday.Lee broke the 1-1 deadlock in the 56th minute at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha and then netted an insurance marker a dozen minutes later for his sixth goal in the past six international matches.Midfielder Hwang In-beom scored the first goal for 23rd-ranked Korea in the 38th minute, before Abdullah Al Hashash answered for 86th-ranked Bahrain six minutes after the restart.”No one on our team, be it players or coaches, thought this was going to be an easy match,” Lee said afterward. “We had some good moments and not so good moments in this one. We will try to play better in the next match.”Coached by Jurgen Klinsmann, Korea will next face 87th-ranked Jordan on Saturday at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha. The kickoff is 2:30 p.m. local time, or 8:30 p.m. in Seoul time.Korea will try to win their first Asian Cup since 1960.

Lee said giving up the equalizer early in the second half didn’t change Korea’s approach whatsoever.”Whether we concede a goal or score a goal, we always try to keep playing our game,” Lee said. “After giving up that goal, we just wanted to get one right back. I am just happy to have helped the team.”Korea sent out a star-studded starting XI, featuring Lee, Tottenham Hotspur captain Son Heung-min and Bayern Munich defender Kim Min-jae. Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers missed the match with a left hip injury.Despite boasting superior offensive firepower, Korea were unable to establish control early on.Bahrain played some tight and physical defense, thwarting a series of Korean forays into the attacking third. Bahrain had the match’s first shot attempt, with Mohamed Marhoon sending a header over the net about six minutes in. For Korea, defensive midfielder Park Yong-woo and center back Kim Min-jae each received a yellow card before the match was 15 minutes old. Another defender, Lee Ki-je, also picked up a yellow card in the 28th minute.

At the half-hour mark, Korean forward Cho Gue-sung was all alone in front of the goal but only managed a desperate shot that went well over the goal after Lee Jae-sung’s feed went a little behind him.Bahrain nearly got on the board in the 32nd minute, when forward Ali Madan got in behind the flat-footed Korean defenders for a one-on-one opportunity against Kim Seung-gyu in goal. Madan, though, sent his left-footed shot high and wide to the left.Korea finally grabbed the lead on 38 minutes thanks to a fortuitous bounce. Korea took a free kick from the center before Bahrain players were ready, and Lee Jae-sung charged down the left wing. His cross ricocheted off the leg of a defender and rolled to wide-open Hwang In-beom, who finished with his left foot to put Korea ahead.Lee Kang-in tried to double Korea’s lead in the 43rd minute but his free kick from outside the middle of the box landed on the top of the net.Bahrain came out of the break looking far more determined, and their early pressure paid off in Abdullah Al Hashash’s equalizer in the 51st minute.Marhoon’s initial shot from the center of the box went off a Korean defender and Al Hashash pounced on the rebound to level the 온라인카지노 score at 1-1.

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