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Ki helps Korea Republic kick off Asian Cup with victory

Ki Sung-yueng helped the Korea Republic kick off their Asian Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over the Philippines on Monday.

The Newcastle United midfielder started for his country at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, but was withdrawn just before the hour through injury.

Hwang Ui-jo bagged the winner shortly after for Paulo Bento’s men, and the Philippines – who are managed by Sven Goran Eriksson – had no reply.

That means Ki’s side made the perfect start to the group stage, though the 29-year-old – who has 110 international caps – is expected to miss out on Friday’s clash with Kyrgyzstan.

The former Swansea schemer will hope to be back in action for the Korea Republic’s final group game, against China a week on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Yoshinori Mutō could line up for Japan as they begin the tournament with a game against Turkmenistan on Wednesday.

The Magpies forward is part of Hajime Moriyasu’s squad for the Asian Cup, having linked up with his national team following United’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United last week.

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