The South Korea Under-24 National Team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, won a 3-1 friendly against the Chinese Asian Games team at Jinhua Stadium in Zhejiang, China, on Friday (July 15). After a somewhat frustrating first half, the Koreans exploded for goals in the second half. Multi-goal efforts from Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan Hyundai) in the fifth and eighth minutes of the second half put the game out of reach, before Jung Woo-young (Freiburg) scored a stunning mid-range strike in the 15th minute.
But the damage was done. Uhm Won-sang (Freiburg), who had a storming performance, went down with an injury. In the 21st minute of the second half, she complained of pain after colliding with an opponent during a loose ball. Her right ankle was instantly 스포츠토토 twisted. Uhm Won-sang was replaced by Choi Joon in the 24th minute. On the bench, Uhm Won-sang showed signs of pain even as she was being taped up. Uhm Won-sang is a key attacker for the national team. Coach Hwang Sun-hong was also worried after the game, saying, “I hope it’s not a serious injury because she has an ankle injury.”
The injury was a bit unlucky. It’s hard to believe that the opponent was intentional. However, the team had to deal with China’s rough play throughout the game. Several players fell to the ground in pain from the opponent’s combat soccer. In the 32nd minute, striker Song Min-gyu (Jeonbuk Hyundai) caught his left ankle in a sliding tackle from an opponent, and later in the half, Cho Young-wook (FC Seoul) went down after hitting his head during a contested aerial ball. In stoppage time, Park Jae-yong (FC Anyang) was also brought down by an opponent’s tackle and struggled to get up.
It’s not over. The national team will face China again on Sept. 19 at the same venue. The team will play two games in China before heading to the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in September. They have the advantage of acclimatization. However, the team suffered injuries from the first game. Even though it was a friendly, the opposition was too rough. The upcoming matches are a worry.
However, if there’s a positive to take away from the game, it’s that we were able to check a variety of players and secure the win. In the first half, Song Min-kyu and Yang Hyun-joon (Gangwon FC) stood out as flankers, while frontline striker Chun Sung-hoon (Incheon United) actively attacked the opponent’s goal. In the second half, Uhm Won-sang, Jung Woo-young, Cho Young-wook, and Park Jae-yong were used to test different tactics. This is the last call-up before the Asian Games. It will be an important test for the final roster.
It will also give Hwang a chance to gain experience and improve his organization. The Asian Games are usually held for the Under-23 (U-23) team, but the event has been postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the U-24 team will be competing. The national team has not played an official match since the postponement of the Hangzhou Asian Games. The team played two practice matches against local clubs in Qatar in March. In May, the team held a three-day training camp at Paju NFC. It was the first time they played China at the U-24 level. In the U-23 series, South Korea leads the all-time series with 11 wins, three draws and one loss.
South Korea won the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. They will be looking to make it three in a row at the Hangzhou Asian Games. “Both the players and I have a strong desire to win the title,” said Hwang Sun-hong, “and we will work on our deficiencies until the Asian Games to become a competitive team.”