Who is the leader in Asian soccer? Korean soccer will face a fateful match between Korea and Japan for their third consecutive Asian Games title.
The Korean men’s under-24 soccer team, led by coach Hwang Seon-hong, won 2-1 in the semifinals against Uzbekistan at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games men’s soccer team held at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China on the 4th, advancing to the finals of three consecutive competitions. advanced.
Korea, which won thanks to Jung Woo-young’s multiple goals, reached the finals on a six-game winning streak, leaving only one game left to win the championship. Korea’s opponent, aiming to achieve a milestone of three consecutive wins following the 2014 Incheon Games and the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, is their fateful rival, Japan.
In the previous competition, Korea faced Japan in the final for the gold medal. The Korean U-23 national soccer team, led by coach Kim Hak-beom at the time, won 2-1 in the final thanks to consecutive goals by Lee Seung-woo and Hwang Hee-chan in the first half of extra time, and won its second consecutive gold medal.
Compared to the last tournament, where the team struggled hard in every game despite having an ultra-luxurious team, the progress in this tournament is smooth. Contrary to concerns, Hwang Seon-hong went on a six-game winning streak and advanced to the finals. He also left an overwhelming record of a total of 25 goals and 2 goals conceded.
Starting with a 9-0 win over Kuwait, they advanced to the tournament by defeating Thailand 4-0 and Bahrain 3-0. Korea, which defeated Kyrgyzstan 3-1 in the round of 16, defeated the host country, China, 2-0 in the quarterfinals, which was considered a critical moment. Then, in the semifinals, they defeated Uzbekistan, a difficult enemy that had previously presented Korea with difficult challenges, 2-1.
The Japanese national team, led by coach Ko Oiwa, is also in good spirits. In the semifinal match against Hong Kong held at Hangzhou Xiaoshan Sports Center Stadium on the 4th, Japan scored one goal in the first half and three goals in the second half to win 4-0 and advance to the finals first.
Japan was initially evaluated as having weaker power than in the past, as it included many college players in this tournament. However, in the group stage matches, they defeated Qatar 3-1 and Palestine 1-0, respectively. They then won 7-0 against Myanmar in the round of 16, and defeated North Korea 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
It is expected to be a fateful match between Korea and Japan and also a final to determine the leader in Asian soccer.
Korean soccer has established itself as the country with the most wins in the Asian Games, winning five gold medals (three silver and three bronze). Korea won three consecutive silver medals at the 1954 Manila Games, the 1958 Tokyo Games, and the 1962 Jakarta Games, and won its first gold medal by drawing with Myanmar at the 1970 Bangkok Games and jointly winning according to the regulations at the time. Then, at the 1978 Bangkok Games, they tied with North Korea and won the gold medal.
The first solo victory was in Seoul in 1986. They defeated Saudi Arabia, which had a stronger lead at the time, 2-0 and won the gold medal.
However, after experiencing ups and downs for a long time and failing to win a gold medal, Korea dreamed of taking flight again at the 2002 Busan Games. At that time, many members of the World Cup semifinals, including Park Ji-sung, Lee Cheon-soo, and Lee Young-pyo, participated, but were blocked by Iran in the semifinals and only took bronze.
Korean soccer’s slump seemed to be deepening after only reaching the semifinals at the 2006 Doha Games and the bronze medal at the 2010 Guangzhou Games. However, after defeating North Korea at the 2014 Incheon Games and winning the title for the first time in 28 years, they defeated Japan after a fierce battle at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games and succeeded in winning their second consecutive title.
And they are in a situation where they are trying to make history again by winning three games in a row against Japan. If Korea wins this tournament, it is expected that Korea will be able to increase its number of wins by one more to six and at the same time confirm once again that it is a leader in Asian soccer.
It is true that Korea is ahead in terms of objective power. Korea has many problem solvers, including Jung Woo-young, who is the sole leading scorer in the tournament with seven goals. In the game on the 4th, Jung Woo-young also scored multiple goals.
In the match against Uzbekistan, Jung Woo-young scored the first goal in the 4th minute of the first half. He then exploded by scoring the second goal to bring the lead back in the 38th minute of the first half, after giving up the equalizer.토토사이트
In other areas of power, Korea was far ahead. Even though Lee Kang-in is not in his best condition, he is playing his role well as an attack solver, and wild card Park Jin-seop is playing a strong role in the defense line and holding his position reliably. In addition, the entire team is in good condition, with Hong Hyun-seok showing off his improved condition and flying as the national team’s ace.
The problem is injuries. In the match on the 4th, Uzbekistan played a very rough game that was appropriately called ‘gangster soccer.’ They made a series of low-level plays that were not suitable for the level of international soccer, such as rough tackles against Korean players, double-footed tackles, elbow strikes to the face, and abdominal strikes.
In the process, a scene was created in which Lee Kang-in, who played for 60 minutes, and Eom Won-sang, a key player in the offensive line, suffered damage and were replaced. Lee Kang-in was seen falling after being hit in the stomach, and Eom Won-sang injured his ankle due to a deep tackle. Even after the game ended, two players were seen limping on the broadcast screen.
Fortunately, there is a recovery period, although it is short. Korea will take a day off and then play the final against Japan on the 7th at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, the same venue as the semifinals.