Korean Men’s Soccer Team Secures Spot in Round of 16 at Asian Games
In their pursuit of a third consecutive Asian Games title, Hangzhou’s Korean men’s soccer team has dominated the group stage, securing their place in the round of 16. Under the guidance of coach Hwang Seon-hong, the Korean national team triumphed with a stunning 4-0 victory against Thailand in their second match of Group E at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Zhejiang, China.
Having already won their previous two group stage matches, including a notable victory against Kuwait, Hwang Seon-hong’s team accumulated a total of 6 points, earning them the coveted top spot in Group E. Their success was further solidified as Bahrain, the group’s second-place team, drew with Kuwait, eliminating any chance of Korea losing their first place standing, regardless of the outcome of their final match.
Now, the winners of Group E will move on to face the runners-up from Group F in the round of 16. Group F consists of North Korea, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, and Chinese Taipei. With an impressive tally of 13 goals in just two group stage matches, Korea is undoubtedly a formidable force to be reckoned with. Their final group stage match against Bahrain is set to take place on the 24th.
During their match against Thailand, coach Hwang Seon-hong deployed a winning lineup that included Park Jae-yong (Jeonbuk) as the lead striker, alongside talented K-League scorers such as Ko Young-jun (Pohang), Eom Won-sang (Ulsan), and Ahn Jae-jun (Bucheon). In midfield, Hong Hyun-seok (Gent) and captain Baek Seung-ho provided invaluable support, while Hwang Jae-won (Daegu), Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk), Lee Jae-ik (Seoul E-Land), and Seol Young-woo (Ulsan) formed a solid defensive backline. Gwang-yeon Lee (Gangwon) took charge as the starting goalkeeper.
Korea wasted no time in their pursuit of victory, with Hong Hyun-seok scoring a header just 15 minutes into the game. Ahn Jae-jun quickly followed suit, capitalizing on a ball that slipped through the defense, mercilessly firing it into the net with his right foot. In the 39th minute, Eom Won-ganu added another goal to his name, showcasing his exceptional ability to outmaneuver the opposing defenders and neatly find the back of the net with a powerful right foot shot. The first half concluded with a surprising goal from defender Lee Jae-ik, who seized the opportunity presented by the Thai defense’s inability to clear the ball and struck it home with remarkable force.
Clearly not content with their four-goal lead, Coach Hwang made strategic substitutions at the start of the second half. Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart) replaced Eom Won-sang, while Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon) took the place of Go Young-jun, further bolstering the offensive line. Cho Young-wook, who demonstrated his scoring prowess in the previous match against Kuwait, had an excellent chance to net another goal as he intercepted a pass intended for the goalkeeper just four minutes after entering the field. Unfortunately, his shot narrowly missed, denying the team an additional point.
In a surprising development, Lee Kang-in, who had arrived in Hangzhou earlier in the day, did not feature in the game due to the demanding schedule. Instead, he watched his teammates’ exceptional performance from the stands, supporting them wholeheartedly.
With their progression to the round of 16 secured, the Korean men’s soccer team continues to make great strides towards claiming their third consecutive Asian Games title. Stay tuned as we bring you more updates on their exhilarating journey.
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▲ Eom Won-ganu scored the team’s third goal Photo: Yonhap News Hangzhou’s Korean men’s soccer team, which is seeking its third consecutive Asian Games title, won the second leg of the group stage and confirmed its progress to the round of 16 by finishing first in the group.
The Korean national team, led by coach Hwang Seon-hong, won 4-0 against Thailand in the second match of Group E of the men’s football group stage of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games held at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Zhejiang, China, on the 21st.
Hwang Seon-hong, who previously won both group stage matches including the match against Kuwait, collected 6 points and secured first place in Group E.
In the previous game, Bahrain (2 points), second in the group, drew with Kuwait, eliminating the possibility of Korea regaining first place regardless of the result of the final game.
The winner of Group E will face the runners-up in Group F, which will include North Korea, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan and Chinese Taipei, in the round of 16.
Korea, who scored a total of 13 goals in two group stage matches, will play the final group stage match against Bahrain on the 24th.
▲ Korea won 4-0 against Thailand Photo: Yonhap News Coach Hwang Seon-hong gave Park Jae-yong (Jeonbuk) the lead that day, and K-League strikers such as Ko Young-jun (Pohang), Eom Won -sang (Ulsan), and Ahn Jae-jun (Bucheon) also scored actively.
Hong Hyun-seok (Gent) and captain Baek Seung-ho supported them in midfield, while Hwang Jae-won (Daegu), Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk), Lee Jae-ik (Seoul E- Land), and Seol Young-woo (Ulsan) form the back four. The starting goalkeeper was Gwang-yeon Lee (Gangwon).
Korea opened the scoring with Hong Hyun-seok’s header 15 minutes after kick-off, and then scored four goals in the first half alone.
Five minutes after Hong Hyun-seok scored, Ahn Jae-jun scored a goal by hitting the ball flowing in front of him hard with his right foot because the opposing defense could not handle it.
In the 39th minute of the first half, Eom Won-ganu also scored consecutively following the game against Kuwait, avoiding the defense for a minute with a 2-on-1 pass, penetrating the goal, and hitting the net with a right foot shot.
▲ Photo of Lee Kang-in greeting the fans: Yonhap News In the extra time of the first half, even defender Lee Jae-ik scored a goal. This time, Jae-Ik Lee took advantage of the Thai defense’s inability to clear the ball completely in a set-piece situation and made it 4-0 in the first half with a thunderous strike.
Coach Hwang, perhaps not satisfied with the 4 goal difference, replaced Eom Won-sang at the start of the second half with Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), and in the 31st minute of the second half, replaced Go Young-jun with Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon) to continue to strengthen the offensive line.
Cho Young-wook, who scored two goals in the game against Kuwait, had a golden opportunity to score by intercepting an opponent’s pass towards the goalkeeper four minutes after entering the field.
However, the team failed to score an extra point as their shot in front of goal narrowly missed.
Meanwhile, Lee Kang-in, who arrived in Hangzhou this afternoon, was omitted from the playing list given the tight schedule, and watched the activities of his teammates from the stands rather than the bench.
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