There are concerns before every match. But this is the first time I’ve ever felt this anxious.
The South Korean men’s national team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, will face China in the men’s football quarterfinals of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. KST at the Brass Sports Center Stadium.
Hwang, whose prospects weren’t promising in the run-up to the Games, was drawn in Group E with Bahrain, Thailand, and Kuwait and won all three games. In those three games, they scored 16 goals and kept no clean sheets. Considering that second and third place Bahrain and Thailand were winless and scored two goals apiece, you can see how dominant Hwang was.스포츠토토
We played Kyrgyzstan in the round of 16, and even though we conceded, we still scored five goals and reached the quarterfinals. From the group stage to the round of 16, they dominated every team in terms of power, performance, and atmosphere. In front of Huang Sunhong, who was cruising to the gold medal, was the host nation China. China topped their group with two wins and one draw (nine goals scored and one conceded), and they met Qatar in the round of 16, winning 1-0 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Obviously, they’re better than China in every way. We can’t let our guard down, but we can be confident. But I’m more worried than confident. It’s not that Huang Sunhong will be a pushover, but it’s China’s home advantage. Home advantage is an advantage for the host country in any competition, and China is known for taking it too far. Whether it’s summer or winter, whenever we meet China at an international tournament in China, there is always a refereeing dispute.
There were several calls that were either in China’s favor or too lenient for the other team. China plays very rough when they meet Korea, and I have many memories of them turning a blind eye to injuries. This was evident in the two friendlies against China this year. There were a lot of rough fouls that were completely unrelated to the flow of the game. In the process, Uhm Won-sang and Ko Young-joon were injured and fell down.
In addition, there was no video assistant referee (VAR) in this tournament. Once the referee and assistant referee make a call, that’s it. If they make a wrong call, they can’t correct it during the game. I think it’s a bit premature, but given China’s past behavior, it’s understandable that they’re worried that the game will be tilted in their favor.
The only way to turn the tide is for Huang Sunhong to show the same prodigious scoring prowess that he’s shown throughout the tournament and get out to a quick lead and take control of the game. Without an early goal, the tide will likely turn in China’s favor. This will be a crucial game for China in their quest for gold. A win will bring them closer to the gold medal.