There was no ‘Southeast Asian nightmare’.

The Asian Games men’s soccer team, led by coach Hwang Seon-hong, won two consecutive wins at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games and passed the group stage early in first place. By playing the game against Bahrain on the 24th as virtually a practice game, we were able to stock up on stamina for the tournament.

In the second match of Group E of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games Men’s Football Group Stage against Thailand held at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Jinhua, China on the 21st (Korean time), Korea scored the first goal by Hong Hyun-seok in the 14th minute of the first half, followed by an additional goal by Ahn Jae-jun in the 20th minute of the first half. Eom Won-sang’s key goal in the 39th minute of the first half and Lee Jae-ik’s finishing goal in extra time of the first half resulted in a 4-0 victory.

Korea, which defeated Kuwait in the Middle East 9-0 on the 19th, won all 2 matches including a big win that day.카지노

In the match between Kuwait and Bahrain held at the same venue prior to the match against Thailand, the two teams drew 1-1, and if Korea beat Thailand, they could not only advance to the round of 16 but also take first place in Group E early, which happened just as they wanted. Korea recorded 6 points, and Bahrain finished with 2 points after two consecutive draws, placing them in 2nd place in Group E. Thailand and Kuwait, with 1 draw and 1 loss (1 point), took 3rd and 4th place in Group E, respectively.

Korean soccer lost to the host country, Thailand, in the quarterfinals of the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games, and at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, they defeated Bahrain 6-0 in the first match and then bowed 1-2 to Malaysia in the second match. In the Asian Games, there were often cases of being defeated by Southeast Asian dark horses. However, on this day, the team bombarded the opposing team without allowing any gaps and achieved a comfortable victory. 

Coincidentally, on this day, Lee Kang-in, Hwang Seon-hong’s ace and last card, entered Hangzhou from France via Seoul and came down to Jinhua by car, making it an even more powerful victory for the Taegeuk Warriors.

Lee Kang-in was completely absent from the roster that day and watched from the stands, and he did not hide his joy as he clapped from the stands every time a goal was scored. In a situation where it was expected that he would be a substitute in the second half of the Bahrain match, his teammates were able to focus on the time difference, conditions, and adaptation to the turf by pressing Thailand.

Considering that the match against Thailand was held two days after the match against Kuwait, Coach Hwang implemented a rotation to allocate the players’ stamina and build their sense of the game.

Compared to the Kuwait game, 5 new players were selected as starters.

Coach Hwang, who activated the 4-4-2 formation, appointed Lee Gwang-yeon as the goalkeeper. Hwang Jae-won, Park Jin-seop, Lee Jae-ik, and Seol Young-woo played the back four, while captain Baek Seung-ho, Hong Hyun-seok, Ko Young-jun, and Eom Won-sang made up the midfield. Two tall strikers, Jae-Jun Ahn and Jae-Yong Park, who came on as substitutes in the game against Kuwait and scored one goal each, lined up as the top two.

Lee Kang-in was not included as a member of the bench, and after meeting and chatting with Coach Hwang before the game, he went up to the stands just before the kickoff whistle sounded. Also, Jung Woo-young, the man who scored a hat trick against Kuwait, and Cho Young-wook, who scored 2 goals and 1 assist, sat on the bench and stood by as a joker.

National team members Hong Hyun-seok and Seol Young-woo, who accompanied the Klinsmann’s European expedition earlier this month and came on as substitutes in the second half of the game against Kuwait for reasons such as adjusting to physical conditions, started as starters on this day.

Thailand also made many changes. With the 5-3-2 formation intact, Nopon Lakopon guarded the goal, and Trisat Pongsakon, Maximilian Steinbauer, Kritsada Nontarat, Abhisit Saensikamuan, and Vukori Limdi made up the back five.

In the midfield, Chayapiphat Supunpasuchi, Sirimongol Ratanaphum, and Waris Zultong worked together. Pimpae Pitpak and Yotsakorn Burapa appeared as the front two top players.

Korea, which was looking for an opportunity by passing a pass against Thailand, which had settled down near the penalty box, opened fire in the 10th minute of the first half when tall striker Jaeyong Park headed a cross that rightback Jaewon Hwang advanced to the right attacking area.

Then, in the 15th minute of the first half, Korea’s European side Hong Hyun-seok scored the first goal and began to destroy Thailand. Left back Seol Young-woo’s cross was passed by Hong Hyun-seok, who weaved his way through the Thai players and connected with a header from the front of the goal area, scoring the first goal.

In the game against Kuwait, Seon-Hong Hwang became a major contributor to the 9-0 victory as Jeong Woo-Young (Stuttgart), also from Europe, scored a hat trick. On this day, instead of Jung Woo-young resting on the bench, Hong Hyun-seok appeared, and lived up to expectations and fame, scoring the first goal.

Korea, which did not let down its reins, took the lead early with Ahn Jae-jun scoring an additional goal in the 20th minute of the first half. When tall striker Park Jae-yong gave the ball back through a post play on the right side of the penalty area, Ahn Jae-jun rushed in and attempted a bullet-like right-footed shot to make it 2-0.

Following the first match against Kuwait, Ahn Jae-jun became the main goal scorer for Hwang Seon-hong in his first two consecutive games.

With the score down 2-0, Thailand lost their will to fight. In the 30th minute of the first half, Korea’s captain Baek Seung-ho sent a cannonball shot from a free kick opportunity, chilling the opposition. It was a fantastic shot, reminiscent of the mid-range shot against Brazil at the Qatar World Cup last year.

Korea scored one more goal at the end of the first half to take the lead early on. After exchanging a 2-on-1 pass with Go Young-jun, Eom Won-sang fired a devastating right-footed shot from an angle to the right of the penalty area. A cross seemed more appropriate due to the lack of angle, but Eom Won-sang scored the goal with a confident shot.

It didn’t end here. Korea managed to score a goal before the end whistle of the first half sounded, making it 4-0 before the second half. During the set piece in extra time in the first half, Hong Hyun-seok’s left-footed kick went straight in front of the arc, and Lee Jae-ik hit a left-footed shot from far in front of the penalty area to make it 4-0.

Coach Hwang Sun-hong, who maintained a stern expression during the commemorative photo shoot even after the team won the game against Kuwait, expressed a little joy with a fist-pumping ceremony every time a goal was scored.

As soon as the second half began, Coach Hwang continued to check his firepower by substituting German Bundesliga Stuttgart striker Jung Woo-young, who scored a hat-trick against Kuwait, in place of Eom Won-sang. In the 2nd minute of the second half, Korea gave up a one-on-one chance in the opponent’s counterattack, but Burapa took a breather with a shot that cut through the air. Afterwards, Korea continued to attack and began preparing for the round of 16 tournament.

Park Jin-seop, who received a warning in the game against Kuwait, also received a yellow card in this game, confirming his absence from the game against Bahrain. Once the risk factor for the round of 16 was eliminated, Coach Hwang quickly replaced Park Jin-seop with captain Baek Seung-ho in the 10th minute of the second half. Ho-yeon Jeong and Tae-hyun Kim took their place.

In the middle of the second half, Korea slowed down the tempo of the game to save stamina. Thailand also gave up the game against Korea and went all-in on the game against Kuwait on the 24th, and seemed to focus on reducing the number of goals conceded as much as possible rather than showing its will to attack.

However, even in this situation, Coach Hwang did not neglect to maintain the players’ condition and continuously check their play by experimenting with various attack cards. They strengthened their resolve to score additional points by subtracting Ko Young-jun and inserting Cho Young-wook, who scored 2 goals and 1 assist in the game against Kuwait.

In the 32nd minute of the second half, Jaeyong Park attempted to score his second consecutive goal with a header in front of the goal, but was defeated by the opposing goalkeeper’s save. In the 34th minute of the second half, Cho Young-wook intercepted an opponent’s mistake, beat the goalkeeper, and fired a right-footed shot from the front of the penalty area, but the ball missed the right goal post and did not result in the fifth goal. 

Korean soccer has established itself as the country with the most wins in men’s soccer at the Asian Games, recording 5 gold, 3 silver, and 3 bronze medals. Korea, which won silver medals in succession at the 1954 Manila Games, the 1958 Tokyo Games, and the 1962 Jakarta Games, tied with Myanmar in the final at the 1970 Bangkok Games and shared the championship according to the regulations at the time. Then, at the 1978 Bangkok Games, South Korea and North Korea drew 0-0 and shared the gold medal.

Korea won its first solo championship at the 1986 Seoul Games. They beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 in the final and climbed to the top of the podium.

But from then on, it went through some ups and downs. Korea, which had lost to Iran in the semifinals of the 1990 Beijing Games and only won a bronze medal, lost to Uzbekistan 0-1 in the semifinals at the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games but lost 0-1 to Kuwait in the 3rd and 4th place match, suffering the humiliation of no medal. At the 1998 Bangkok Tournament, they lost to the host country, Thailand, in the quarterfinals and did not even reach the semifinals

The rules for men’s soccer at the Asian Games were later changed at the 2002 Busan Games to allow only players under the age of 23 to participate, but to include three wild cards over the age of 24. At the Busan Asian Games, despite mobilizing members of the 2002 World Cup semifinals such as Park Ji-sung, Lee Young-pyo, and Lee Cheon-soo, they lost to Iran in a penalty shootout in the semifinals and ultimately finished with a bronze medal. Korea only made it to the semifinals at the 2006 Doha Asian Games and ended up only winning a bronze medal at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, failing to win the title for a long time.

However, after defeating North Korea 1-0 in the finals of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and winning the title for the first time in 28 years, they also achieved their second consecutive victory at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. Seon-Hong Hwang has now achieved the first feat in history of three consecutive losses, and he has increased his chances of achieving this by winning the first and second games in a row.

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