‘Sonaldo’ back on nat’l team for Nov. World Cup qualifiers

November 2, 2015
South Korea's Son Heung-min celebrates scoring a hat-trick against Laos during the Asian zone Group G qualifying soccer match for the 2018 World Cup at  Hwaseong Sports Complex Main Stadium in Hwaseong, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. South Korea won 8-0.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Korea’s Son Heung-min celebrates scoring a hat-trick against Laos during the Asian zone Group G qualifying soccer match for the 2018 World Cup at Hwaseong Sports Complex Main Stadium in Hwaseong, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. South Korea won 8-0.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) — Tottenham Hotspurs’ attacker Son Heung-min is back on the South Korean men’s national football team for two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Head coach Uli Stielike announced his 23-man roster on Monday for a pair of World Cup qualifying matches scheduled later this month. Son, who suffered a foot injury and missed South Korea’s two matches last month, is back in the fold when the country will host Myanmar on Nov. 12 and travel to Laos on Nov. 17.

South Korea will also welcome back Crystal Palace midfielder Lee Chung-yong, who was unavailable last month with an ankle injury.

In the second round of the Asian qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, South Korea are leading Group G with a perfect 4-0-0 record. They have scored 14 goals and have given up none.

South Korea defeated Myanmar 2-0 on June 16, and Laos 8-0 on Sept. 3. They are undefeated since January, with 14 wins, three draws and one loss in 2015.

There were few changes to the lineup that defeated Kuwait 1-0 last month. Attacking midfielder Kwon Chang-hoon will not be with the team this time, as he was called up to compete for the under-23 national team in preparation for the 2016 Olympic qualification.

FC Augsburg defender Hong Jeong-ho has been ruled out with an ankle injury, and Yun Young-sun of Seongnam FC made the national team for the first time.

Stielike explained he didn’t feel the need to fix what wasn’t broken.

“We have virtually the same lineup from October, and I didn’t really see the reason to make changes,” he said. “We learned of Hong Jeong-ho’s injury yesterday and picked another player on defense. We heard Son Heung-min is back to full strength with his club, and we expect him to get some action during the week at Europa League.”

In midfield, the usual suspects will all be there: Ki Sung-yueng of Swansea City, Koo Ja-cheol of FC Augsburg, Jung Woo-young of Vissel Kobe and Han Kook-young of Qatar SC.

On offense, Suk Hyun-jun of Vitoria de Setubal and Hwang Ui-jo of Seongnam FC are back on the team.

Kim Seung-gyu of Ulsan Hyundai, Kwoun Sun-tae of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Jung Sung-ryong of Suwon Samsung Bluewings are all returning as goalkeepers.

Stielike also picked five alternates in case of injuries, including Ulsan Hyundai forward Kim Shin-wook, who’s leading the top-flight K League Classic with 16 goals this season.

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