two wins away from winning three consecutive gold medals. The under-24 men’s national soccer team, led by coach Hwang Sun-hong, crossed the Great Wall of China and reached the semifinals of the Asian Games. And the next opponent is Uzbekistan.
Hwang Seon-Hong-Ho won 2-0 in the quarterfinals against China on October 1, thanks to consecutive goals by Hong Hyun-Seok and Song Min-Gyu. A difficult game was expected against Chinese soccer, which boasted home advantage and rough play, but based on coach Hwang Seon-hong’s bold rotation, quick first goal, and players’ calm and concise game management, the team succeeded in winning without any major crises or power leaks.
Korea’s experience of two friendly games against China in Hangzhou last June turned out to be a blessing in disguise. At that time, Hwang Seon-hong had a series of injuries due to China’s rough play, and the result was only 1 win and 1 loss. The Korea Football Association and coach Hwang Seon-hong had to apologize as public opinion worsened for forcing an unreasonable evaluation match with China. However, as they met China again in the quarterfinals of the Asian Games, the painful experience at the time served as a driving force for the team to understand China’s style and home territory in advance and prepare thoroughly.
Coach Hwang’s decision to exclude Lee Kang-in, Jung Woo-young, and Eom Won-sang, who are considered key players in the game against China, from the starting lineup and insert them in the second half was also correct. It was a game-changing strategy to prepare for an emergency situation by putting in all the effort in the second half, but in the end, they completely overwhelmed China by scoring two goals in the first half even without them, and they were able to save the stamina of the main players, making it easier to prepare for the remaining two games. lost.
As a result, Korean soccer achieved the feat of advancing to the semifinals for the sixth time in a row since the 2002 Busan Games, when the Asian Games were changed to age-group competitions. In addition, Hwang Seon-hong-ho again broke the record for the highest score in Asian Games history with a total of 23 points, including multiple goals in 5 consecutive games, and showed off his perfect offense and defense balance, conceding only one goal (against Kyrgyzstan in the round of 16).
The national team, which scored 16 goals without conceding a goal against Kuwait (9-0), Thailand (4-0), and Bahrain (3-0) in the group stage, defeated Kyrgyzstan 5-1 in the round of 16 and faced the burdensome host country. They won the quarterfinals against China without any hesitation and settled into the semifinals smoothly. Currently, Jung Woo-young is the team’s leading scorer with 5 goals, and 11 of the 20 field players (excluding 3 goalkeepers) including Cho Young-wook, Hong Hyun-seok, Baek Seung-ho, Eom Won-sang, and Ahn Jae-jun scored goals evenly, and the attack-defense-midfielder battle A goal was scored from the position.
Hwang Seon-hong will face Uzbekistan in the semifinals at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China at 9 p.m. (Korean time) on the 4th. Uzbekistan advanced to the semifinals relatively easily in this tournament, benefiting from the great fortune.
Afghanistan and Syria were suddenly withdrawn from the group stage, so they played two games against weak Hong Kong and advanced to the round of 16 with two wins. In the tournament, they narrowly defeated Indonesia 2-0 in overtime, but pulled off an upset by defeating Middle East leader Saudi Arabia 2-1 in the quarterfinals on the 1st.
Uzbekistan has won a gold medal once at the 1994 Hiroshima Games. They caused an upset by beating Korea, who were considered the strongest contenders for the title at the time, in the semifinals and advancing to the finals. For Korean soccer, it is a dark history that is still remembered as the ‘Nightmare of Hiroshima’.토토사이트
In 1994, the first team of the national team A was participating in the Asian Games. It included many elite members who had participated in the 1994 U.S. World Cup, including coach Hwang Seon-hong, the current head coach of the national team, Hong Myung-bo, Ha Seok-ju, the late Yoo Sang-cheol, Ko Jeong-woon, Kang Cheol, and Lee Im-saeng.
Korea, led by coach Anatoly Byshevets, a foreign head coach, won 11-0 thanks to the performance of Hwang Sun-hong, who scored 8 goals in the first game against Nepal, and showed off its impressive firepower by scoring 16 goals in 4 games through to the quarterfinals. .
In particular, in the quarterfinals, Korea faced the home team Japan, which was considered its strongest competitor, and achieved a thrilling comeback victory of 3-2 after a spectacular match. At the time, Korea received favorable reviews for having overcome the most important hurdle toward winning, and it seemed like there were no more significant competitors until the finals. Uzbekistan, whom we met in the semifinals, has a lower status in Asian soccer than it does now.
But is it because the tension has eased? Korea launched an overwhelming offensive against Uzbekistan throughout the game, with a ball possession rate of 80 to 20% and a shooting rate of 28 to 2, but ultimately failed to open the goal. However, in the 20th minute of the second half, Uzbekistan’s only effective shot of the day, a mid-distance shot, went into the net due to an irregular bounce and goalkeeper Cha Sang-gwang’s ridiculous mistake, resulting in a painful winning goal.
Korea was unable to overcome the aftereffects of losing in the semifinals, and in the 3rd and 4th place match, they once again bowed to Kuwait, whom they met again following the group stage, and failed to even win a bronze medal. This scene is considered the biggest black moment in the history of the Korean soccer Asian Games. On the other hand, Uzbekistan, who defeated Korea, completely defeated China in the final and won the gold medal. It was not until 2014, more than 20 years later, that Korea was able to win the gold medal again.
A whopping 29 years have passed since the Hiroshima disaster, and coach Hwang Seon-hong, who was a player at the time, is now reunited with Uzbekistan as a coach. Coincidentally, Uzbekistan is also advancing to the semifinals for the first time since winning the gold medal in 1994. Although the opponent was different, Korea is similar to 29 years ago in that it is considered the strongest candidate for the championship, defeating the home team in the quarterfinals, which was considered a critical moment, and advancing to the semifinals.
The biggest lesson that Hiroshima’s nightmare left behind for Korean soccer was the fact that ‘indulgence equals crisis.’ In soccer, there is no such thing as a natural victory, regardless of power difference. Although Korea has a clear advantage in terms of objective power, upsets like 1994 can be repeated at any time, such as Uzbekistan defeating Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong defeating Iran.
Korea also met Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Jakarta Palembang Tournament, the last tournament. At that time, Korea had a strong team that included wild cards such as Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae, and Cho Hyun-woo, and Hwang Ui-jo scored a hat trick, but they gave up three goals to Uzbekistan and had to go into overtime.
Korea barely won 4-3 thanks to Hwang Hee-chan’s penalty kick winning goal in the 13th minute of the second half of extra time. The match against Uzbekistan is considered the most difficult juncture for the Korean national team on its way to the gold medal. This is why Hwang Seon-hong, who must have taken a breather after the burdensome victory against China, should never relax his nerves.
If they overcome Uzbekistan, their likely opponent in the finals will be Japan. Japan defeated North Korea in the quarterfinals, and in the semifinals, they faced Hong Kong, an underdog that had caused an upset by defeating powerhouse Iran. If Korea meets Japan again in the finals, it will be the second consecutive match following the finals of the last Jakarta Games.
Hwang Seon-hong was defeated 0-3 by Japan in the quarterfinals of the Under-23 Asia Cup two years ago, so if he meets Japan again and takes revenge, it will be a perfect scenario to complete his third consecutive Asian Games victory.