In tournament competition, there are some matches that are praised for a draw and others that are criticized for a win. Hwang Sun-hong’s hard-fought victory over Kyrgyzstan on Sept. 9 was one of the latter.
Hwang Sun-hong’s U-22 team beat Kyrgyzstan 1-0 at the Changwon Football Center on Monday in the second round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The positive was that they quickly overcame the damage from their shock 0-2 loss to Qatar in the first round of qualifying with this win. With three points, they quickly moved to the top of the group, ahead of Kyrgyzstan (1-1) and Myanmar (1-0). A draw against Myanmar in the final match at the same venue on December 12 will see them top the group and advance directly to the U-23 Asian Cup and Olympic Qualifiers in Qatar next April/May. Results of the qualifying matches against Asian Cup hosts Qatar will not count towards the rankings.
The win over Kyrgyzstan gave them a head start, but it left a bad taste in their mouths. That’s because of Hwang Sun-hong’s performance in the last two games. Considering that the team is missing some key players in the age group that overlaps with the Asian Games squad that kicks off this month, it hasn’t been as good as soccer fans had hoped. Wasted ball control and poor passes were a recurring theme. When our opponents had the ball, we saw more fouls than we saw them pressing and winning the ball on the counterattack. I did not get the impression that our players were superior in individual skill to either team. Only Hong Yun-sang (Pohang), a technician who dreams of becoming Korea’s Gracie, was able to pick off one or two opposing defenders individually.
It’s hard not to point out the problem of goalkeeping, which has been a recurring theme at tournaments for decades. The Olympic team scored just one goal in two games. Against Qatar, they lost 0-2 because they couldn’t find the back of the net, and against Kyrgyzstan, they scored a goal in the first three minutes of the first half but couldn’t find the back of the net. If you don’t score when you need to, you’re going to struggle. This is something that has been on Klinsmann’s mind. The senior national team has scored just one goal in its last three A matches.
The problem is that the process of creating goals hasn’t been smooth. There weren’t many passes that led to a shot. Only once did a tactical move result in a goal. In the third minute of the first half against Kyrgyzstan, a pass from Park Chang-woo (Jeonbuk) to the back left of the opponent’s box was picked up by Jung Sang-bin (Minnesota), who sent a low, quick cross into the box, where Hong Yun-sang pushed it in. Korea seemed to dominate possession after the goal, but most of the time the ball stayed in our defensive zone. We repeatedly made crosses and backpasses. If we want to score another goal, we need to make bold forward passes, 토스카지노 risky moves, and be adventurous and challenging.
There is still time before the Asian Cup, but the process of building a good team takes longer than you think. All eyes will be on the final qualifiers, where a 10th consecutive trip to the Olympic Games is on the line. If they can’t overwhelm relative underdogs Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar, they’ll face a tougher challenge in the final round.