It was a perfect revenge for the 0-3 debacle a year ago. Asian Games head coach Hwang Sun-hong roared after his team defeated Japan to clinch the Asian Games title.
Hwang Sun-hong’s men’s football team conceded an early goal in the first two minutes of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games men’s football final against Japan at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday (June 7), but came from behind to win 2-1.
With the win, Korea became the first team in history to win three consecutive Asian Games soccer titles, having won the 2014 Incheon Games and defeated Japan in Jakarta-Palembang 2018.
The victory was also special for Hwang Sun-hong-ho. Hwang still has painful memories of the 0-3 loss to Japan in the quarterfinals of the U-23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan last June. Current Asian Games players such as Cho Young-wook, Lee Kang-in, and Hong Hyun-seok played in the match, but the team failed to score a single goal.
The shock was great. After the A team lost 0-3 in a friendly in March 2021 and the U-16 team lost 0-3 in the International Dream Cup in June 2022, the team had lost two straight games against Korea, and few thought it would be a third.
After that game, Hwang Sun-hong’s leadership was on the chopping block. He was criticized for not being able to properly utilize his star player, Lee Kang-in. More importantly, the team lost a two-game series against China, which was part of the team’s rationale for acclimatizing to China three months before the Asian Games. Uhm Won-sang, a key player, suffered an ankle injury, while Cho Young-wook and Ko Young-joon also returned home with minor injuries. The result of the two-game series was 1-1. It wasn’t a convincing performance.
For coach Hwang Sun-hong, it was a must-win game against Japan, not only for the gold medal, but also to forget the pain of the previous defeat.
It wasn’t going to be easy. Hwang, who hadn’t missed an opening goal all tournament, conceded the first for Japan.
In the second minute of the first half, Japan’s Kane Sato made a quick break down the left flank and sent in a cross that goalkeeper Lee Kwang-yeon parried but didn’t go far. Masato Shigemi picked up the ball on the rebound and set up Gotaro Uchino. Uchino slotted the ball into an empty net.
The team didn’t panic after the blow. Jung Woo-young, who leads the tournament with seven goals, did. In the 27th minute, captain Baek Seung-ho melted the defense with a fantastic individual effort in the box. After taking off his man marker, his pass to the center was intercepted by a defender and sent backwards, but Hwang Jae-won caught it and sent in a cross. Jung Woo-young, waiting in the box, beat the defense and headed it home. It was a display of Bundesliga class. Eight goals to book the top scorer.
The jubilant national team was rewarded early in the second half when Cho Young-wook struck again. Hwang Jae-won dribbled from the halfway line and delivered a ball forward, where Jung Woo-young battled with the opposing defense before sliding the ball into the center of the penalty area. Cho Young-wook caught it in a difficult situation but managed to get himself into a good position to kick it in with his right foot to make it 2-1.
Cho, an active duty soldier who was promoted to corporal on the 1st of this month, will be transferred early if he wins this tournament. He scored the ‘discharge goal’.
With the lead, the team battled back and forth with Japan. Towards the end of the second half, the team almost lost 바카라사이트 the lead when Japan created a crucial scoring opportunity, but they managed to hold on.
When the referee blew the final whistle, the players collapsed to the ground. The players on the bench and the coaching staff ran onto the field.
Head coach Hwang Sun-hong, who hadn’t smiled all tournament, roared in victory. The team avenged last year’s disastrous loss by winning their third consecutive Asian Games title.