Uzbekistan, the ‘difficult enemy’, and Kapase, the ‘Korean faction’, meet again… Hwang Seon-hong’s ‘3 consecutive losses’ road, overcome the biggest hurdle 

We met with ‘difficult enemy’ Uzbekistan on the way to the finals. ‘Hwang Seon-hong (U-23 National Team)’ faces his biggest challenge.

The Asian Games men’s soccer team, led by coach Hwang Seon-hong, will play the semifinals against Uzbekistan in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games men’s soccer team at the Huanglong Sports Center in Hangzhou, China, at 9 p.m. on the 4th (Korean time). It is expected to be the ‘biggest challenge’ for Hwang Seon-hong, who is attempting to win his third consecutive victory in the competition.

Seonhongho Hwang is ‘cruising’ in this competition. He scored 23 goals in 5 games from the group stage to the quarterfinals while conceding only one goal. He is showing excellent offense and defense balance with extreme offense and salty defense. Overcoming concerns about the ‘weakest offensive line’ that had existed before the competition, the team succeeded in reaching the semifinals for the sixth time in a row since the 2002 Busan Games thanks to an even distribution of scores from second-line resources.

Hwang Seon-hong’s semifinal opponent, Uzbekistan, is not easy. The FIFA ranking is low at 75th. However, Uzbekistan is strong in this age group. It has the potential to win the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup in 2018, place 4th in 2020, and finish as runner-up last year. Seon-Hong Hwang suffered a bitter defeat in the quarterfinals of last year’s Asian Cup.스포츠토토

At the Asian Games, the national team struggled against Uzbekistan. During the 1994 Hiroshima Games, we had the painful experience of meeting in the final and losing 0-1. Also, five years ago, at the 2018 Jakarta/Palembang Tournament, they faced Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals. Despite a hat trick by striker Hwang Ui-jo (Norwich City), who joined as a wild card at the time, the team won 4-3 in a close overtime match. It was also the biggest juncture for the national team led by coach Kim Hak-beom at the time.

Uzbekistan and Hwang Seon-hong faced each other at Hwaseong Stadium in September last year, and ended in a 1-1 draw. In particular, Uzbekistan formed its team with players from the 2000s without any wild cards in this tournament. Moreover, the coach leading Uzbekistan is Timur Kapadze. He has been the coach of the Uzbekistan age group national team since 2021. He is a ‘Jihanpa’ who played for one season at Incheon United during his active career. He represented Uzbekistan and played against Korea many times as a player. It is known that Kapase watched Hwang Seon-hong’s quarterfinal match.

In particular, Uzbekistan is the type of team that competes with strength and physicality rather than technology, so it is bound to be difficult to deal with them. Director Hwang also cautioned against this and said, “Uzbekistan is quite linear. “It is also a powerful and energetic team,” he said. “It is a team that fights for power, so if we fight together, it can become difficult. You must be well prepared tactically. The greatest enemy now is within us. You must not let down your guard. “We will approach it cautiously,” he emphasized.

As Coach Hwang said, there is a high possibility that the semifinals will feature an attack utilizing technology and speed rather than a head-on match between strength and strength. In the quarterfinals against China, Coach Hwang placed players with excellent skills and speed on the bench, such as Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), and Eom Won-sang (Ulsan Hyundai), and transferred Song Min-gyu (Jeonbuk Hyundai) and Ahn Jae-jun (Bucheon FC). I had fun placing it on the side. Lee Kang-in, Jung Woo-young, and Eom Won-sang are under less physical strain as they only played 62 minutes in the quarterfinals. The ever-changing second-line combination is Hwang Seon-Hong-ho’s greatest strength. Coach Hwang also said, “Selection doesn’t mean much. He expressed satisfaction, saying, “No matter who leaves, they do their part.”

If Korea defeats Uzbekistan in the semifinals, they will be just one step away from losing three games in a row. The final will be played against the winner of the match between Japan and Hong Kong on the 7th.