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Kim Young-gwon, left, and Son Heung-min of Korea chat before a training session at Al Egla Training Site in Doha, Feb. 5. Yonhap

As Korea try to claim their first Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup title in 64 years, they will have to clear their next hurdle without their best defender Tuesday night in Qatar.Kim Min-jae of Bayern Munich, considered one of the top center backs in the world today, is ineligible for the semifinal match against Jordan, kicking off at 6 p.m. Tuesday (local time) at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, west of Doha, or midnight Wednesday (Korean time). Kim picked up his second yellow card of the tournament in the late minutes of the quarterfinal win over Australia on Friday after getting into a tussle match with an opponent.It was a needless violation for such an important player for Korea as they were trying to rally from a 1-0 deficit. They ended up coming back for a 2-1 win in extra time, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will now have to figure out ways to contain Jordan without Kim, a two-way monster who combines physical play with deceptive speed.Even with Kim in the lineup, Korea have still conceded eight goals in five matches, the most among the four semifinalists. And his absence could spell even more trouble for Korea in the back. After the Australia match, Klinsmann said losing Kim for the semifinals was “obviously not good for us because he’s our leader in the back and a fantastic professional.” But he also noted he has players who could jump in right awayOne obvious choice would be to bring back Jung Seung-hyun, who started the first two group matches alongside Kim Min-jae before ceding that spot to Kim Young-gwon. Jung also made a start in a back-three formation against Saudi Arabia in the round of 16.”In order to to bring up different solutions, we can go back to a back three. We have variations,” Klinsmann said.

If Klinsmann decides to stick to his usual back-four setup, he can potentially have a trio of club teammates in Korea, plus another player who was their teammate until last season. Jung Seung-hyun and Kim Young-gwon are center back partners for Ulsan HD FC, the two-time reigning K League 1 champions. Left back Seol Young-woo is another Ulsan player and has spent almost his entire club career alongside Jung and Kim.Right back Kim Tae-hwan recently left Ulsan to sign with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors but played with the three to win the past two league titles.If Klinsmann turns to a back-three formation, Kim Young-gwon and Jung will likely start alongside Park Jin-seop, who has only seen limited action so far. The team’s two other center backs, Kim Ji-soo and Kim Ju-sung, have yet to take the field in Qatar, and Klinsmann likely won’t turn to the unproven duo — they have combined for only three caps — in such an important match.Midfielder Hwang In-beom, who will be tasked with helping out on the defensive end, said at his prematch press conference Monday that he has faith in his teammates’ ability to come through in Kim Min-jae’s absence.”Just because Min-jae won’t play, it doesn’t mean our defense will be shaky,” Hwang said. “We have guys who’ve been preparing for this moment behind the 온라인카지노 scenes, and I know how great they are. Whoever steps in tomorrow will play well.

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