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scouting

Cho Yu-min becomes Daejeon Hana Citizen's first-ever World Cup player

Cho Yu-min has become the first Daejeon Citizen player, Hana era or otherwise, to play in a FIFA World Cup match for South Korea.

It may have only been a short cameo off the bench, just five minutes in fact with Cho slotting in at right centre back alongside Jung Woo-young and Kwon Kying-won in a three with Kim Moon-hwan and Kim Jin-su the two wing backs, but the 25-year-old defender has made Daejeon club history.

It doesn't appear as though Cho even touched the ball but he won't mind too much as he came off the bench to be there if needed with striker Cho Gue-sung going off. 

With Hwang Hee-chan having just given South Korea a 2-1 lead in the 91st minute, Paulo Bento's assistant manager Sergio Costa took switched to a 5-3-2 to see the game out.

Cho Yu-min (R) celebrates South Korea's 2-1 win over Portugal (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Daejeon's World Cup player history isn't exactly extensive, in fact, Cho is only the second Purple to go to a World Cup - the first being goalkeeper Choi Eun-sung in 2002.

But Choi, although an undisputed club legend, didn't feature in 2002 and made just one cap for his country - that being the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 friendly win with Nigeria in September 2001.

Cho isn't the first Daejeon player to represent South Korea at a major tournament, though, as technically, Hwang In-beom was still a Purple at the time of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. 

The midfielder didn't seal a move to Vancouver Whitecaps until 30th January - five days after Korea's 1-0 loss to Qatar in the quarter-finals. 

[READ: Guide to South Korea at the 2022 FIFA World Cup]


FNR

Cho Yu-min now has five caps for South Korea and could earn a sixth on Monday night when South Korea take on Brazil in the Round of 16.

Napoli centre back Kim Min-jae missed the win over Portugal with a right calf problem while the goalscorer of Korea's equaliser, Kim Young-gwon, went off with a knock late on.

Cho joined Daejeon before the start of the 2022 season and was named captain by manager Lee Min-sung, a former Korean international defender himself who represented the Taegeuk Warriors at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

The 2018 Asian Games gold medalist made 36 appearances for Daejeon in their promotion-winning 2022 campaign and scored seven goals, including one in the Promotion-Relegation Playoff Final first leg against Gimcheon Sangmu.



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