Round 16 Today: Korean National Football Team Set to Face Kyrgyzstan
All-Weather Hong Hyun-Seok Shines in ‘Reliable Man’ Role
27th September 2022 – Tonight, at 8:30 pm (Korea time), the Korean national under-24 football team, led by coach Hwang Seon-hong, will compete against Kyrgyzstan in Jinhua, Zhejiang, China. This match will determine if Korea secures a place in the quarter-finals of the Asian Games.
After an impressive performance in the group stage, where they won all three matches without conceding a single goal, the Korean team is now on a quest to become Asian champions for the third consecutive time. A victory tonight will mark their fourth consecutive win in the tournament.
Korea’s opponents, Kyrgyzstan, finished second in Group F after a thrilling victory over Chinese Taipei in their last game. Although Kyrgyzstan may not pose a significant challenge for the Korean team, it is crucial for Korea to remain focused as the stakes are high. A moment of carelessness could result in an unexpected exit from the tournament.
One player to watch out for is Lee Kang-in, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain. Lee, a renowned midfielder and the Golden Ball player (MVP) of the U-20 World Cup 2019, showcased his skills in the last group game against Bahrain. Despite limited playing time, Lee’s ball control and remarkable passing abilities left a lasting impression, raising expectations for the upcoming match.
Joining Lee is captain Baek Seung-ho of Jeonbuk, who has proven himself to be a vital asset for the team. Baek’s powerful free-kick goal against Kuwait and his well-executed long-range strike against Bahrain have played a crucial role in securing victories for Korea. This tournament holds special significance for Baek, who missed out on the Asian Games five years ago due to injury.
Another standout performer for the Korean team is experienced midfielder Hong Hyun-seok from Gent. Known for his versatility and ability to perform in any weather condition, Hong has established himself as a reliable player in the Belgian league. He recently scored a goal in the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off and earned a call-up to the senior national team. Hong’s contributions in this tournament have been significant, including a goal against Thailand and a crucial assist in the match against Bahrain.
If Korea emerges victorious against Kyrgyzstan, they could potentially face the host nation, China, in the quarter-finals. The ensuing matches will be held in Jinhua, with the quarter-final clash scheduled to take place in Hangzhou. China’s quarter-final fate will also be determined as they go head-to-head with Qatar.
As the round of 16 commences, Korea aims to continue their dominant run and secure a spot among Asia’s footballing elite. With talented players and a determined coach leading the way, the Korean national football team remains steadfast in their pursuit of glory.
Round 16 today against Kyrgyzstan
All-weather Hong Hyun-seok also features in ‘Reliable Man’
Chance of meeting the home team in case of victory
The full-scale race to conquer Asia for the third time in a row begins.
The national under-24 football team, who successfully completed the group stage, will advance to the round of 16. If we win four times in a row from now on, it will be our third straight defeat in the Asian Games.
Korea, led by coach Hwang Seon-hong, competes for a ticket to the quarter-finals against Kyrgyzstan in Jinhua, Zhejiang, China, at 8:30 pm (Korea time) on the 27th. In the 3 games in Group E, Korea scored 16 goals and did not concede a single goal while winning all 3 games. Kyrgyzstan is in second place in Group F with 1 win and 2 losses. They came second in dramatic fashion by beating Chinese Taipei 4-1 in the last game.
It is not a difficult opponent for Korea, but from the round of 16, if they lose, it is over, so a moment’s carelessness cannot be tolerated. This is a game where Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who warmed up lightly in the third game of the group stage, will show his true colors. Lee Kang-in, who joined the national team late due to his team’s schedule, played 36 minutes as a starter in the last group game against Bahrain (3-0) on the 24th, and although it was a short time, he keep up with his teammates. He showed his ball keeping skills and flashing passes, raising expectations for the next game.
Lee Kang-in is a Golden Ball player (MVP) who played a leading role in the second place in the U-20 World Cup 2019. This is the first international multi-sport competition (Olympic Games/Asian Games). However, there are many members who came second in 2019 in the Asian Games national team, including Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon), Eom Won-sang (Ulsan), Lee Jae-ik (E-Land), Choi Jun (Busan), and Lee Gwang-yeon (Gangwon). I have met several players from the national A team, so it is not unfamiliar to me.
If Lee Kang-in boasts a golden left foot, he has captain Baek Seung-ho (Jeonbuk), who was chosen as a wild card, on his right foot. Baek Seung-ho, who hit the net with a powerful free kick in the first game against Kuwait (9-0), scored an extra goal with a mid-range cannonball shot in the 29th minute of the second half when the game in 1 -0 against Bahrain. It was a blow that loosened the pulse of the opponent who had deliberately locked himself out. Baek Seung-ho, who left a strong impression with a thunderous mid-range shot in the second half of last year’s Qatar World Cup round of 16 against Brazil (1-4 loss), is warming up the Asian Games with a heavy shot that remind us of that time. This tournament is even more special because I regretted not being selected for the Asian Games five years ago due to injury.
Hong Hyun-seok (Gent), who shows his skills as an all-weather midfielder, is also a ‘reliable man’ for Hwang Seon-hong-ho. Having fully established himself in the Belgian league, he recently scored a goal in the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off, and was also called up to the national A team, where he got the chance to start for an A game for the first time. time in an evaluation match against Wales on the 8th of this month. Hong Hyun-seok plays in the center, side, attack, and defense in this tournament. He scored the first goal in the second match against Thailand (4-0), and in the match against Bahrain, he assisted the key goal of Go Young-jun (Pohang) with a ‘lob messenger pass’ at the end of the second. half.
If they beat Kyrgyzstan, Korea could meet home team China in the quarter-finals. Four matches will be played in Jinhua and the quarter-finals will be played in Hangzhou. China competes with Qatar to advance to the quarter-finals at the same time as the Korea game.
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