Express & Star

Wolves forward Hwang Hee-chan ruled out of South Korea World Cup opener

Wolves striker Hwang Hee-Chan has been ruled out of South Korea's World Cup opener with Uruguay due to a hamstring problem.

Hwang Hee-chan (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images).

South Korea get their Group H campaign underway on Thursday - however they will be without the Wolves frontman whose recovery from a hamstring injury has gone slower than expected.

Head coach Paulo Bento told a press conference on Wednesday that Hwang, who missed team training on Tuesday to do individual sessions indoors, will not be ready to face the South American side.

It comes as a blow to Bento and South Korea - with the Wolves forward, who has 49 caps to his name, a regular starter for his country.

Elsewhere in his Wednesday press conference, the South Korea boss insisted his underdog side will not feel the pressure against Uruguay on Thursday.

South Korea have only twice made it through to the knockout stages of the World Cup - in 2002 when they progressed to the semi-final as co-hosts with Japan and the round of 16 in 2020.

Bento said: "If this was a team going to the knockouts every time, it'd be a different story. I do not see any reason for them to have to have pressure on their shoulders.

"I do not believe this is the burden they have.

"I am sure we'll be able to compete in the very best manner possible in each of the three matches during the group stage."