A pall of silence fell onto Anfield when Red Bull Salzburg striker Hwang Hee-Chan burst into the box and found the net against Champions League holders Liverpool, which were leading the game 3-0. The 23-year-old Korean managed to find a crack in the bulwark of Liverpool, which conceded no goals at home for five games in a row in UCL tournaments. UEFA extolled Hwang, saying the Korean completely foxed UEFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk, calling him a striker “who stole the show at Anfield.”
In the second round against Liverpool in Group E, Hwang boasted a superb form with one goal and one assist. In the 11th minute of the latter half, the 23-year-old also chalked up an assist, whipping in a pinpoint cross for Takumi Minamino. Having recorded one goal and two assists against K.A.A. Gent of Belgium on September 18 in the first game of Group E, Hwang has managed to score goals for two consecutive games in UCL group stage. With each team having gone through two matches, Hwang is currently ranked at first in attack points with two goals and three assists.
Thanks to Hwang’s comeback, Salzburg managed to equalize the game back to 3-3 even after allowing three goals first. But in the 24th minute of the latter half, Mohamed Salah, the ace of Liverpool, netted a deciding goal, earning his team a 4-3 win at home. Both Salzburg and Liverpool have recorded one win and one loss in Group E competition so far.
Despite the result, Hwang, who fueled the drive for chase with the first goal for his team, has received keen attention by European news outlets. SPORTbible, a British online sports community, said that Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk, who went 55 Premier League games in a row without being dribbled past, could not stop Hwang, adding the South Korean gave the center back a real headache. In the meantime, WhoScored.com gave Hwang a rating of 8.2, the highest among his teammates.
Hwang, who has scored six goals and ten assists, is proving to be most destructive when placed as strikers on top along with Erling Haaland. “Six of Hwang’s 10 assists this season have been for the Norwegian star,” said UEFA about Hwang’s teamwork with Haaland.
Yun-Cheol Jeong firstname.lastname@example.org