Hwang Seon-Hong-ho’, who scored a whopping 13 goals in 2 games, confirmed the round of 16 early and relieved the burden of the final group match against Bahrain. The likelihood of facing a team considered weak in terms of power has increased in the round of 16. As a result, the timing of Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain)’s appearance also emerged as a topic of interest.
The Asian Games national soccer team, led by coach Hwang Seon-hong, began recovery training at the Jinhua Sports Center auxiliary stadium in Zhejiang Province, China, on the afternoon of the 22nd. The national team, which previously won two consecutive games with multiple scores in the first and second games of Group E of the group stage, secured the round of 16 by taking first place in the group (6 points), giving it room to operate the rotation in the third game.
Korea won 9-0 against Kuwait on the 19th and 4-0 against Thailand the day before. In the same group, Bahrain has 2 draws (2 points), and Kuwait and Thailand each have 1 draw and 1 loss (1 point). Even if these teams win all remaining games and earn 3 points, they cannot top the group. Even if Korea loses to Bahrain, it will maintain first place in its group.
Accordingly, Coach Hwang plans to manage the players’ condition through recovery training rather than physical training ahead of the final group stage match against Bahrain on the 24th. Lee Kang-in, who joined the national team the day before, also participated and worked with his teammates for the first time. Lee Kang-in, who watched the victory over Thailand from the stands, was with his teammates with a bright expression throughout, including putting his arm around Eom Won-sang (Ulsan Hyundai), who scored the goal, after the game ended. He also seemed to be coordinating the timing of his appearance by exchanging stories with Coach Hwang about his physical condition.
Lee Kang-in’s body is currently in good condition. On the 20th, he appeared as a substitute in the second half of the first leg of the UEFA Champions League group stage against Dortmund (Germany) and showed perfect recovery. Lee Kang-in returned a month after suffering a thigh injury in the Ligue 1 match against Toulouse last month.
Director Hwang, who originally wanted Lee Kang-in to join quickly, also appears not to overdo it since he has the time. After the match against Thailand, coach Hwang said about Lee Kang-in’s playing time, saying, “We need to check (the player’s) condition for that matter. It’s too early to talk about it here,” and said, “I will choose after considering various factors.” Ultimately, this means that Lee Kang-in’s playing time may be delayed. He is expected to appear as a substitute in the second half of the match against Bahrain or to start in the round of 16 tournament.
In the round of 16, South Korea will face the runners-up in Group F, which includes North Korea, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, and Chinese Taipei. In Group F, North Korea is in first place with 2 wins (6 points), but Indonesia and Taiwan are in a mixed race with 1 win and 1 loss (3 points) each. If North Korea loses against Indonesia on the 24th and Taiwan wins against Kyrgyzstan, all three teams except Kyrgyzstan will be tied with 6 points. Indonesia is led by coach Shin Tae-yong, so the matchup with Korea is of interest. However, if North Korea advances to the round of 16 in second place in the group, the first inter-Korean confrontation in nine years since the 2014 Incheon Games will take place. At that time, North and South Korea faced each other in the final, and Korea won the gold medal with a 1-0 score.레모나토토
Coach Hwang emphasized, “It’s something to celebrate for advancing to the final tournament, but there can be no satisfaction until you win a gold medal. It’s important to maintain your performance in preparation for the tournament.”