By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Yonhap) -- A veteran international striker and an up-and-coming forward headlined rosters for national men's football exhibition matches announced on Monday.
The South Korean senior men's team will face the under-23 men's squad for two matches on Oct. 9 and 12 in Goyang, just northwest of Seoul. These will be first matches for both national teams in 2020, with the global coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on their match calendars.
Paulo Bento, the senior team's boss, and Kim Hak-bum, his U-23 counterpart, both named 23-man rosters made up entirely of K League players. With the mandatory 14-day quarantine in place for all international arrivals into South Korea, calling up overseas-based stars wasn't an option this time.
Bento tapped Busan IPark striker Lee Jeong-hyeop to be one of his two forwards, alongside Gangwon FC marksman Kim Ji-hyun. Lee has 24 caps to his name and competed at South Korea's most recent international tournament, the 2019 East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E-1 Football Championship in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul.
Kim, who leads Gangwon with seven goals this season, will be playing his first match for Bento.
Kim Hak-bum picked a whopping six forwards, half of whom played for the U-20 national team that finished runners-up at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup: Oh Se-hun of Sangju Sangmu, Cho Young-wook of FC Seoul and Eom Won-sang of Gwangju FC.
From Coach Kim's team that won the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship in January, midfielders Lee Dong-jun and Won Du-jae were selected to the senior team this time. Won, a defensive midfielder for Ulsan Hyundai FC, was listed as a defender on Bento's squad.
Kim's defense includes members from that U-23 title team, including Lee You-hyeon of Busan IPark and Jeong Tae-wook of Daegu FC.
Goalkeepers from the K League 1's two best clubs were picked for each national team: Jo Hyeon-woo from league-leading Ulsan for Bento, and Song Bum-keun of second-place Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors for Kim Hak-bum.
The national teams will open camp on Oct. 5 at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul. The senior team will be the hosts on Oct. 9, and the junior side will be the home team on Oct. 12.
The aggregate score will determine the winner, with the away goals rule in effect. The winning team will donate 100 million won (US$85,200) in its name to aid the nationwide battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
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