Kwon draws praise from national coach

Consadole Sapporo draw 0-0 against Gamba Osaka in J-League

South Korea head coach Uli Stielike has praised 21-year-old midfielder Kwon Chang-hoon for his impressive displays in midfield.

The Suwon Samsung Bluewings player made his international debut in August in the East Asian Cup, and scored brace in South Korea’s 8-0 thrashing of Laos in Thursday’s World Cup and Asian Cup qualifier.

"I think highly of him. Since he was first called up to the national team, I think he's matured a great deal," Stielike told the Yonhap News Agency.

Kwon struck in the 30th and 75th minutes, while Tottenham Hotspur’s Heung-Min Son scored a hat-trick via goals in the 12th, 74th and 90th minutes, and Chung-Yong Lee, Hyun-Jun Suk and Jae-Sung Lee struck in the 10th, 58th and 93rd minutes respectively.

The young midfielder has credited his team mates for helping to ease him into international football.

"I had great opportunities thanks to my teammates. Our goal was to score a bunch of goals, and everyone played a part,” said Kwon.

“I was able to relax and just play my game, knowing my teammates would be there to help out."

South Korea will face Lebanon in Saida on Tuesday in their next fixture, where Kwon is again expected to feature in the midfield.