Hwang Sun-hong, head coach of the men’s national soccer team, who won three consecutive Asian Games, smiled brightly after shaking off his mental struggles.
Coach Hwang, who led the national team to Korea through Incheon International Airport on the 8th, was cheered by more than 300 fans and said, “I can’t adapt well,” but added, “It’s not bad.” I will work hard to receive more welcome in the future,” he said. 스포츠토토
The national team won the gold medal in the men’s soccer final at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, beating its archrival Japan 2-1. It was the moment when he won the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta and Palembang tournaments, and won the first three consecutive tournaments.
The contents were neat, too. After passing the group stage by winning all three games, Korea showed solid performance throughout the tournament, including the round of 16 against Kyrgyzstan (5-1), the quarterfinals against China (2-0), the semifinals against Uzbekistan (2-1), and the final against Japan.
Hwang attributed his success to the team and fans. “I expected it (to win the tournament) to be very difficult, but the players did their best. “The players, coaches, and support staff became trinitarian, and everything went well,” he stressed. “Thanks to the fans who cheered enthusiastically in Korea, I was able to gain great strength,” he said, adding, “Please praise the players who did well.”
He cited the semifinals against Uzbekistan as the biggest challenge of the tournament. Coach Hwang said, “We had a very difficult game because the Uzbek style was straight and powerful,” adding, “We overcame the crisis well and became confident about winning.”
As for the moment when he gave up the first goal right after the start of the game in the final, he looked back, saying, “I was flustered.” Coach Hwang said, “I thought there was a chance if the players didn’t shake psychologically (although I lost the first point), and fortunately, Baek Seung-ho and Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk) held the center well in the stadium, so I was able to turn the tables.”
Hwang, who defended the Asian throne, now has to prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics. “Uzbek and Japan have been preparing for nearly three years, but South Korea has not had a few convocation drills,” he said. “In order to continue the achievements, we need to have a chance to work together during next year’s winter training, not to mention the A-match period.” He then appealed, “I sincerely ask for help from the level of the Korea Football Association, the K League club, and the professional soccer federation.”
Fans’ biggest interest in Hwang Sun-hong is whether Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) will participate in the Olympics. Lee Kang-in, born in 2001, is old enough to play in the Paris Olympics, but it is unclear whether his team will agree to his transfer as he received military service benefits from the gold medal in this tournament. The Olympics is not even a FIFA tournament, so the club may refuse to transfer.
Nevertheless, Hwang strongly expressed his desire to stand on the Olympic stage with Lee Kang-in. “I want to take all players of that age,” he said. “I didn’t get a stamp from Kang-in, but I said I must participate.” I want to set up the best power, including all six to seven people who worked together this time, he stressed. Kang In’s answer is still a question mark. I didn’t give you a definite answer. They say it’s a secret,” he added.