In 2022, South Korean soccer impressed by reaching the round of 16 at the World Cup in Qatar.In 2023, Hwang Sun-Hong will take over the baton. In Hangzhou, China, South Korea will try to win a third straight Asian Games men’s soccer title.A dominant force in Asia, South Korea has won five gold medals in men’s soccer at the Asian Games.They shared the 1970 and 1978 titles in Bangkok with Myanmar (then Burma) and North Korea, respectively, and came out on top in Seoul in 1986.There was a gold medal drought for more than two decades after that.At the 1990 Beijing Games (third place), they were stunned by Iran in the semifinals, and at the 1994 Hiroshima Games (fourth place), they were stunned by Uzbekistan on the threshold of the final and came away empty-handed. In Bangkok 1998, they were shocked by the home team Thailand in the quarterfinals.At the 2002 Busan tournament (3rd), when they were looking to build on their 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup quarterfinal run, they were brought to their knees by Iran in the semifinals after a penalty shootout.At the 2006 tournament in Doha, the team lost 0-1 to Iraq in the semifinals and 0-1 to Iran in the third and fourth place matches.At Guangzhou 2010, under current Ulsan Hyundai coach Hong Myung-bo, the team settled for bronze after losing to the United Arab Emirates in the semifinals.It wasn’t until the 2014 edition in Incheon, on home soil, that South Korea’s men’s soccer team began to show its full potential at the Asian Games.The team, coached by the late Lee Kwang-jong, struck “perfect gold,” keeping seven clean sheets in seven games from the first round of group play to the final against North Korea.It was only the second clean sheet in Asian Games history. Hosts India won the inaugural edition in New Delhi in 1951 with a three-match clean sheet.The Tigers’ golden roar was echoed four years later in Jakarta-Palembang.Led by a superstar attacking lineup that included Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Eui-jo (Norwich) and Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), Kim Hak-beom handled several close calls, including a quarterfinal victory over Uzbekistan in a back-and-forth extra-time shootout, to give South Korea its second straight gold medal.The Asian Games are not a big deal in Asian soccer. Japan even fielded a team of college players for the Jakarta-Palembang tournament.This is because it’s an age-based tournament, and teams aren’t required to field a team. The original age limit was 23 and under, but the tournament was postponed for a year due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the age limit was raised to 24 and under.But for Korean soccer, it’s a tournament that can’t be ignored, as military service benefits are at stake.That’s why South Korea always sends its best team to the Asian Games.This time around, the 22-man roster, two more than last time, is filled with some of the best talent in Korean soccer.Coach Hwang Sun-hong chose center back Park Jin-seop, midfielder Baek Seung-ho (Jeonbuk), and flanker Seol Young-woo (Ulsan) as wildcard players over the age limit, but it’s the 22-year-old “youngest brother” Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) who is the most intriguing.After helping South Korea to a runner-up finish at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and helping them reach the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, fans will be hoping that Lee, who has been playing for ‘big club’ Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) this summer, will be able to put on another stunning display of dribbling and passing at the Asian Games, where his military service is on the line.He shouldn’t have any trouble getting there. When Lee signed his contract with PSG in July, he reportedly included a clause to play in the Asian Games.However, PSG announced on March 23 that Lee had injured his left quadriceps, so he will need to recover quickly.In addition to Lee, Baek Seung-ho and Hong Hyun-seok (Gent), Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon), and Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan), all of whom are regular players in Europe and the K League, are expected to play in the attacking two and midfield.However, without a wild card, the front line and goalkeeper Jin Yong have less weight than four years ago.Hwang will be drawn in Group E, where they will compete against Bahrain, Thailand, and Kuwait.They will face Kuwait on the 19th, Thailand on the 21st, and Bahrain on the 24th at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Zhejiang, China.Men’s soccer at the Asian Games will see 23 nations compete in six groups.Four nations have been drawn into Groups A, B, C, E and F, while three nations have been drawn into Group D.The 12 second-place finishers in each group, plus the four best third-place finishers, will advance to the round of 16.In the tournament, Japan, Uzbekistan, which has invested heavily in developing this age group, and Middle Eastern powerhouse Saudi Arabia are among the opponents Hwang will be wary of.Meanwhile, the women’s soccer team will be looking to win their first-ever Asian Games title in Hangzhou after a disappointing group stage exit at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with one draw and two losses.In women’s soccer, Japan is a global powerhouse, making it much harder for South Korea to win than in men’s soccer. China and North Korea are also ranked above South Korea.South Korea, coached by Colin 카지노 Bell, will face Myanmar on Sept. 22, the Philippines on Sept. 25

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