South Korea’s Hong Hyun-seok

(6) performs a ‘shhh‘ gesture towards the crowd after scoring the first goal with a left-footed free kick

in the 18th minute during the men’s football quarterfinal match between South Korea and China at

the Asian Games at the Huanglong Sports Center in Hangzhou, China, on Jan. 1.

Boos for the Taegeuk Warriors

Erupted from the 38,000 fans in the stadium as the national anthem ended before kickoff. As soon

as the kickoff was taken, the sound of ‘chayo’ (加油) cheering for their countrymen vibrated

throughout the stadium. The Taegeuk Warriors overcame the adverse conditions to secure a valuable victory over host China.

South Korea’s men’s national football team won their Asian Games quarterfinal match against China

2-0 on Monday at the Huanglong Sports Center in Hangzhou, China. They will face Uzbekistan,

who beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 the same day, in the semifinals on Thursday at the Huanglong Sports

Center. The Uzbeks were the quarterfinal opponents at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games. South Korea won the match 4-3 in extra time.

On this day, Hwang Sun-hong dropped Lee Kang-in (22) of Paris Saint-Germain in France and Jung

Woo-young (24) of Stuttgart in Germany from his starting lineup. Instead, he stuck with an attacking

lineup that featured in-form players such as Ahn Jae-joon (22), Cho Young-wook (24), and Song

Min-gyu (24), including Ko Young-joon (22), who has recorded “one goal and four assists” in his last four games.

The Korean players, who were intimidated by the Chinese crowd’s cheers and boos in the early

stages of the game, found their form as the game went on. Go Young-joon scored in the sixth

minute of the first half and Cho Young-wook scored a minute later in the seventh minute of the first half to take the lead.

The much-anticipated first goal also came early.

In the 18th minute, Hong Hyun-seok (24) of Gent of Belgium sent a left-footed free kick from the

right side of the penalty area into the net. After warming up, South Korea pressured China by

moving up the field and counterattacking. In the 35th minute, Cho Young-wook’s low cross from the

right flank sailed past the goalkeeper and Song Min-gyu, who was rushing into the box, finished with his right foot.

Song Min-kyu

(No. 17) celebrates after scoring the winning goal in the 35th minute to give South Korea a 1-0 lead.

South Korea put more pressure on China in the 18th minute of the second half when Lee Kang-in,

Jung Woo-young, and Uhm Won-sang (24) were introduced at the same time. They moved around

the left and right sides of the midfield, and when Lee exchanged short passes with his teammates or

made a Marseille turn, three Chinese defenders would cling to him at the same time. The more they focused on Lee, the duller China’s day became.

There were no favoritism calls in favor of the hosts.

Omani referee Qasim Matar Al-Hatmi, who officiated the match, was quick to blow his whistle

whenever a foul was committed. If a player committed a foul that could cause the game to get

heated, he would pull them to their feet and give them a verbal warning to calm them down. Al-

Hatmi issued yellow cards to three Chinese players on the day. South Korea’s Baek Seung-ho (26)

was cautioned in the 39th minute of the second half.

As the color faded, the crowd left the stadium before the end of the game. The sound of Chinese

fans popping balloons in the final minutes of the game echoed through the stadium.

South Korea, Uzbekistan, Japan, and Hong Kong join Japan in the final four.

Japan beat North Korea 2-1 thanks to Yuta Matsumura’s (22) 35th-minute winner, while Hong Kong

held on to beat Iran 1-0 thanks to Pun Pui Hin (23) two minutes from time. 19가이드03

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