One step away from the championship. The final opponent is Japan.
Regardless of the sport, there is a saying that you can’t lose a game of rock, paper, scissors in a Korean-Japanese match, so the athletes are determined. The same is true for the Korean national soccer team, which will face Japan in the final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Huanglong Sports Center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday at 9 p.m. KST.
“All the players came here with only the final in mind,” said Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), the tournament’s leading scorer with seven goals, “and I think it’s even more motivating now that it’s a Korea-Japan match.” “I’ll do my best to play a good game,” he added.
“Ace” Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) vowed to “do my best and make sure we get a good result. Goalkeeper Lee Kwang-yeon (Gangwon FC) said, “I don’t want to concede a goal against Japan. We will not lose to Japan no matter what.”
However, Korean soccer has struggled against Japan in recent years. The A team lost 0-3 in an away trial in March 2021 and 0-3 in the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E1 Championship in July 2022. The U23 team also lost 0-3 at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Asian Cup in June 2022.
South Korea’s Asian Games squad will be tasked with erasing the stigma that the country is no longer a force to be reckoned with in Japan. South Korea, which has won two consecutive podium finishes since Incheon in 2014, is looking to redeem itself after three straight losses.토토사이트
Asian Games soccer is age-restricted to players 23 and under, but this year’s event has been postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will feature players 24 and under. In addition, there are three wildcards who are not subject to the age limit.
South Korea selected all three wild cards, including Baek Seung-ho, Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk), and Seol Young-woo (Ulsan). They also have six overseas players in Lee Kang-in, Jung Woo-young, Hong Hyun-seok (Gent), Lee Han-beom (Mitwillan), Park Kyu-hyun (Dynamo), and Kim Tae-hyun (Vegalta Sendai), giving them the best possible strength.
Japan, on the other hand, did not draw any wildcards in preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Nine of the 22 players on the roster are collegiate athletes, and only two of the 13 professionals are overseas, Kane Sato (Werder Bremen 2nd Team-Germany) and Daiki Matsuoka (Gremio-Brazil).
While South Korea has the advantage in terms of strength, Japan has the physical advantage. Unlike the other groups in the tournament, Japan was placed in a three-nation Group D and played only two games against Qatar and Palestine. South Korea played all six matches of the tournament, excluding the final, while Japan played one less.
They also used a rotation in the quarterfinals against Hong Kong to rest their eight starters. With no injuries, they can field their best 11 at full strength.
For South Korea, a sudden injury blip could be a factor. Key resource Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan) was injured in the quarterfinal against Uzbekistan and is doubtful for the final.
Despite a few unknowns, confidence is high. South Korea has been a dominant force at the Asian Games. It is the reigning champion (five times) and holds the record for most finals appearances (nine), including this one.
The team is determined to bring back fond memories of their 2-1 victory over Japan in the final of the Jakarta-Palembang Games five years ago, and are determined to win. “We have one last step left (to win the title), and I will do my best to give it my all to win,” Hwang said.