Lee Kang-in plays late minutes as PSG knock off Barca to reach Champions League semifinals

April 17, 2024

South Korean midfielder Lee Kang-in has played the final 20 or so minutes as his Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) rallied past FC Barcelona into the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League.

Lee was subbed in for Bradley Barcola in the 77th minute of the second leg of the quarterfinals at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on Tuesday (local time), with the visiting PSG leading 3-1 in the match and holding a 5-4 advantage on aggregate.

Kylian Mbappe then iced the victory for PSG with his second goal of the match in the 89th minute, sending the French club into the last four at the top European club tournament for the first time since the 2020-2021 campaign.

Lee, who had started the opening leg last week, will make his first trip to the Champions League semifinals.

Barca won the opening leg 3-2 last week but couldn’t hold on to their aggregate lead after Raphinha opened the scoring for Barcelona a dozen minutes into Tuesday’s match. The home team went down a man 17 minutes later with Ronald Araujo getting sent off for a hard foul on Barcola, giving the visitors some momentum.

Ousmane Dembele scored PSG’s first goal in the 40th minute, and Vitinha put them up 2-1 for the match with his 54th-minute score. The teams were now knotted at 4-4 on aggregate.

Mbappe broke that deadlock by scoring a 61st-minute penalty, awarded after Dembele was brought down by Joao Cancelo.

Mbappe then put the finishing touch when he pounced on a loose ball after goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen first denied Marco Asensio’s attempt.

In the two-legged semifinals beginning in two weeks, PSG will face the German side Borussia Dortmund, who beat Atletico Madrid 5-4 on aggregate in their quarterfinals.

One other South Korean player, Bayern Munich defender Kim Min-jae, is alive in the quarterfinals on the other side of the bracket, as his German club will play Arsenal in the second leg in Munich on Wednesday. The two sides had a 2-2 draw in the opening leg last week.

Kim, however, has fallen out of head coach Thomas Tuchel’s favor and has played sparingly. He watched the first match from the bench.

The one remaining quarterfinal match has the defending champions Manchester City against Real Madrid all tied at 3-3 after the opening leg. Their return leg is Wednesday in Manchester.