“It’s a work in progress. Winning is only for one day. We have to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers.”
The jubilation in Hangzhou is a thing of the past. Now it’s back to the drawing board for Paris. The South Korean men’s soccer team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, won the Asian Games in Hangzhou with seven wins and a perfect record. They scored 27 goals and conceded just three. They made history by winning their first three consecutive Asian Games titles.
In the best moment, Hwang talked about ‘Paris’. “It’s not the end,” he said, “you’ll be hungry for something else. I will work hard to achieve it. I will continue to go my own way. Winning only gives you one day. I have to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers. I have to work,” he said.
From the top of Asia, Hwang Seon-Hong Ho is headed for world history. South Korean soccer is aiming to become the first team in the world to qualify for 10 consecutive Olympic Games. Since the 1988 Seoul Olympics, South Korea has qualified for nine consecutive Olympic Games.
The journey will not be easy. Asia has a ‘3+1’ ticket to the Olympics. The top three teams from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup in Qatar next April will go straight to the Olympics. The fourth-placed team will play a playoff against the fourth-placed team from the final African qualifier to decide its fate.
Hwang Sun-hong-ho experienced a nerve-wracking situation during the U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers in Changwon last September. The team lost their first group game against Qatar 0-2. The team was lucky that the match did not affect their ranking as Qatar qualified early for the Asian Cup. After a tough first game, South Korea went on to defeat Kyrgyzstan (1-0) and Myanmar (3-0) to qualify for the Asian Cup.
The Asian Games and the Olympics have different starting points. In Hangzhou, athletes had to be born in 1999. In Paris, players have to be born in 2001. The centerpiece of the Hwangsun Hongho itself is different. Some of the main players born in 2001 and 2002, such as Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), will not be able to join the team. It is imperative that the team builds toward Paris. That’s why Hwang called up Kim Joo-chan (Suwon Samsung), born in 2004, from the U-23 Asian Cup in September. Bae Joon-ho (Stoke City), Kim Ji-soo (Brentford) and other players who helped Korea reach the quarterfinals at the U-20 World Cup in June will also be reviewed.
It’s important to be proactive in discussing foreign players. In fact, during the Tokyo Olympics, there were difficulties with the inclusion of “monster defender” Kim Min-jae. Furthermore, there is the Asian Cup next January. Some of the players who overlap with the A team may be considered by their clubs. It’s possible that Korea will have to play the U-23 Asian Cup in April with just Krieger.
Hwang also asked for support to improve his performance. He said, “Football is becoming more and more detailed. We need to be supported. The physical part and the analytics partner are working together. We substituted Jeong Ho-yeon in the 먹튀검증 second 15 minutes because his performance would be exhausted in the 60th minute. We broke it down and used him as a substitute. If this is not supported, it will not be easy to play soccer in the future. We need to work together to increase the number of physical and analytical staff so that we can provide a better service to the players. If we don’t work together, Korean soccer can’t develop. If we do that, we are confident of winning the Paris Olympics.”