Son Heung-min’s meeting with Paolo Guerrero was the talk of the town in Peru.
The South Korean national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, lost 0-1 to Peru in a June A friendly at Busan Asiad Stadium at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Now, Klinsmann’s men will face El Salvador on June 20 at Daejeon World Cup Stadium.
It will be Klinsmann’s third game in charge. Since making his debut in March, Klinsmann’s side has faced Colombia (2-2 draw) and Uruguay (1-2 loss) without a win. Against Peru, they went in search of their first win, but there were changes before the game.
Son Heung-min, the centerpiece of the offense and “captain,” was benched for the game as he recovers from sports hernia surgery. The defense also had an outlier. Kim Min-jae, Kim Young-kwon, and Kwon Kyung-won, who have been the starting center backs in recent years, were all out of the squad due to injury.
Klinsmann was eager to bring in new faces. The starting lineup was based on a 4-4-2 formation with Hwang Hee-chan and Oh Hyun-gyu up front. Lee Jae-sung, Hwang In-beom, Won Doo-jae, and Lee Kang-in were in the midfield, while Lee Ki-je, Park Ji-soo, Jung Seung-hyun, and Ahn Hyun-beom were in the back four. Kim Seung-kyu donned the goalkeeper’s gloves and wore the captain’s armband.
There were changes for the new era, including Ahn Hyun-beom making his A-match debut and Oh Hyun-gyu making his first start for the national team. During the match, the team also utilized a number of existing resources such as Cho Kyu-sung, Hwang Eui-jo, and Na Sang-ho, as well as players making their A-Match debuts such as Hong Hyun-seok, Park Kyu-hyun, and Park Yong-woo.
However, it didn’t bring results. It was a friendly, so the result doesn’t mean much, but Klinsmann’s first win was delayed. South Korea gave Peru the lead in the 11th minute after a defensive lapse. It was a one-goal defeat on a year where they failed to score.
Son Heung-min, who stayed on the bench until the end to recover from an injury, looked disappointed when the final whistle blew. “A lot of fans traveled all the way to Busan, and it was my first A-match in four years, so I wanted to show what I do best and what I love on the field. However, I was disappointed that I was unable to do so.”
In the midst of all this, Son Heung-min’s meaningful connection to the team was the center of attention. Guerrero, who wore the captain’s armband to lead the Peruvians in the match, was the center of attention. Guerrero is a 39-year-old veteran and a living legend in Peru. He has already played 108 A-matches and scored 38 goals. He hasn’t been called up to the national team since October 2021.
Guerrero and Son have played together at Hamburg. Guerrero joined Hamburg in 2006 after coming through the Bayern Munich youth academy. Over the next six years, he made 183 appearances in a Hamburg shirt, scoring 51 goals and providing 29 assists. He played alongside Son Heung-min, who made his debut in the 2010-11 season. Guerrero left Hamburg at the end of the 2011-12 season.
First, the official channel of the Peruvian Football Federation released 토토사이트 a video of Son and Guerrero together with the caption “Two great footballers”. They exchanged jerseys and smiled.
Peruvian media outlet La República wrote: “Guerrero and Son Heung-min staged an emotional reunion after 안전사이트 the match between South Korea and Peru. They have played together at Hamburg. In 2010, when Son was just 18 and Guerrero was 26, they formed an attacking combination for Hamburg.”
According to the outlet, Guerrero said: “I’m happy to see Son Heung-min again. I’m sure he was waiting for me. He said to me, ‘See you later’. It’s really nice to see someone after a long time.”