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Rising Korea star Hwang keeps Hamburg on winning run


Berlin (AFP) – South Korea striker Hwang Hee-chan said his winning goal for Hamburg was just the tonic for Asian Games fatigue after keeping Germany’s sleeping giants on a four-match winning streak.

Hamburg were relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time in the club’s history last May, but have won four of their first five games in Germany’s second division — thanks partly to new signing Hwang.

He scored in a 1-0 win at Dynamo Dresden on Tuesday, which was only his second appearance for Hamburg, a fortnight since helping South Korea win the Asian Games title with the winning goal in extra time to seal a 2-1 victory over Japan.

Hwang, 22, who is being watched by Premier League sides Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, has joined from Red Bull Salzburg on loan until the end of the season for a million euros ($1.1 million).

The Korean became a favourite with Hamburg fans by hitting a superb 68th-minute winner at Dresden.

He came off the bench with an hour gone and fired home a fantastic shot to keep Hamburg top of the league, a point above unbeaten Greuther Fuerth.

The South Korea striker said his goal shows practice makes perfect.

“I wanted to score the goal exactly like that and practise these shots, especially in the summer when I am back in my native Korea and working with my personal trainer,” he said.

Despite signing for Hamburg last month, Hwang only made his debut on Saturday playing the full 90 minutes in a 3-2 win against Heidenheim.

Hwang admitted feeling tired during his debut but looked lively off the bench at Dresden and already feels at home in north Germany.

“I am really pleased we could win this important game,” he added.

“I want to thank everyone involved in the team, the coach, my team-mates and support staff, for the welcome they have shown and perfectly integrated me into the team.”

Hwang is the latest Korean striker to impress at Hamburg after Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min, who made his breakthrough at the north German club during his spell there from 2009 to 2013.

Hamburg moved fast to cash in on their rising Korean star by offering to print Hwang’s name free of charge on any club shirts ordered on the club’s website or at their shops.

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