South Korea’s Asian Games men’s soccer team, led by head coach Hwang Sun-hong, will play the first Group E match of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games against Kuwait at 8:30 p.m. on the 19th at Jinhua Stadium in Zhejiang Province, China.
South Korean football, which won gold medals consecutively at the 2014 Incheon Games and the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, will challenge for the first time in its history.
Earlier, Taiwan (1954·1958), Burma (currently Myanmar, 1966·70), and Iran (1998·2002) had won two consecutive Asian Games, and no country has won three consecutive games.
Hwang’s first step is more important as the Korean team’s first match of the tournament, which aims to win more than 50 gold medals and secure third place overall, is scheduled for the Kuwait match.
The opening day of the Hangzhou Asian Games is on the 23rd, but some sports such as soccer and volleyball will start competition early.
As soccer is a sport that attracts a lot of attention, if Hwang Sun-hong wins a cool victory against Kuwait, the enthusiasm for cheering for the entire Korean team is expected to increase.
Men’s soccer in this tournament, in which 23 countries compete, will be held in six groups, with 12 first and second-place teams in each group and four of the third-place teams playing the round of 16 tournaments.
The Group E match, which South Korea belongs to, will be held at two stadiums in Jinhwa, about 140 kilometers southwest of Hangzhou. South Korea plays all three games at Jinhwa Stadium.
Starting with the match against Kuwait, South Korea will play group matches against Thailand on the 21st and Bahrain on the 24th.
South Korea is ahead of Kuwait with one win, one draw and one undefeated record in the history of the U-23 national team.
However, the most recent game (2-0 win) was in 2002, which is more than 20 years ago, so it doesn’t seem to mean much.
The fact that Hwang Sun-hong has not yet fully formed the team is not a small variable.
There are 22 entries for this tournament, but there are currently only 21 players in Hwangseon Hongho.
This is because Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who should play the role of an ace in the national team, is scheduled to arrive there only in the evening of the 21st after playing his team’s game until the 20th.
For this reason, Hwang Sun-hong has to play at least the first two games without Lee Kang-in.
This is not the end. Key fullback Seol Young-woo (Ulsan), who joined the team only on the 16th to play the September warm-up match for the A national team, should be quickly incorporated into the team’s tactics.
South Korea has always been considered a favorite to win the Asian Games, but the tension should be tightened from the group stage.
South Korea has experienced a shocking 1-2 defeat to Malaysia in the second leg of the 2018 Jakarta Games and the atmosphere has subsided significantly.
Hwang Sun-hong, who arrived in Jinhwa, the battlefield on the 16th, will begin training on the local adaptation on the 17th.
At 7 p.m. on the same day, Jinhwa Jeil Middle School will hold its first training session in the field of the finals