South Korea national team defender Kim Min-jae, whose heavy playing time has led to concerns of “burnout,” played another full game upon his return to German club Bayern Munich after playing A-League matches in South Korea and China. The Bavarians defeated Cologne, led by Harry Kane’s brace, to move to the top of the Bundesliga table. Kim started and played until the end of the match against Cologne in the 12th round of the 2023-2024 Bundesliga at the Rhein-Energie-Stadion in Cologne, Germany, on Sept. 25. Min-Jae Kim has had a hard time getting a break in a Bayern Munich jersey this season due to a string of injuries to center-back options, including Matthias Düricht. He’s played 10 consecutive Bundesliga games since the third round, and he’s been a full-time player in the UEFA Champions League for three games. Earlier this month, he also played full-time against third division Saarbrücken in the second round of the DFB-Pokal. He is an irreplaceable resource for the national team, playing the full 90 minutes in five of the six A matches between September and November, which has been described as “exhausting.” Today was no exception, as he returned to his club after two Asian qualifiers for the 2026 North American World Cup in South Korea on Sept. 16 and China on Sept. 21. Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel said ahead of the game that he was “keeping a close eye on players who had a lot of physical demands in the A-match,” but one of those players, Kim Min-jae, started the game and partnered with Dayo Upamecano in central defense. In the 14th minute of the first half, Kim

went down hard on the ground after an aerial contest with opposing striker Davy Zelke. After being checked by the medical staff, Kim got up and continued to play. With Kim at the back until the end, Munich held on to beat Cologne 1-0 to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games (10 wins, 2 draws) since the start of the season and move into first place at the top of the table with 32 points, ahead of Leverkusen (10 wins, 1 draw – 31 points), who have yet to play 12 rounds. Kane put Munich ahead in the 20th minute with the game-winning goal. Eriks Maxime Choupo-Moting’s shot from the left side of the box was cleared by the Cologne defense before crossing the goal line, but the bouncing ball found its way to Kane, who slotted it home with a simple right-footed finish. Kane’s 18th goal of the season took him to the top of the league scoring charts and set a new record for most goals by an English player in a single season in the Bundesliga. Cologne used all five of their substitutions on the day, while Munich did not make a single change until the end, with their entire starting lineup playing the full game. After the game, soccer stats specialist Fourscore.com gave Kim a rating of 7.3, which is in the middle of the pack among Munich players. The highest rating was 7.9 for Munich’s Kingsley Coman. In terms of FootMob ratings, Komang had the highest rating of 8.3, while Kim 토토 earned a 7.5. On the day, Kim attempted 123 passes, the most on the team, with a 95% success rate.

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