There is a team that is on the verge of winning an Asian Games medal even after losing all of its games in the group stage.
This is the Hong Kong national soccer team.
Hong Kong advanced to the men’s soccer semifinals of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.
They compete with Japan to advance to the finals.
For soccer fans, ‘Hong Kong’s advance to the semifinals’ is unfamiliar.
Hong Kong is ranked 148th in the FIFA rankings.
This is because the team is on the outskirts of soccer and has not been able to achieve any significant results even in Asian regional competitions.
However, if you look at the process by which Hong Kong advanced to the semifinals, it is even more surprising. Close to a ‘mystery’.
Hong Kong lost all two matches in the group stage of the Hangzhou Asian Games. The story is like this. 바카라사이트
Hong Kong was placed in Group C with Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Syria in this tournament.
However, Afghanistan and Syria withdrew from the competition at the last minute, leaving only Uzbekistan and Hong Kong in Group C.
The tournament organizing committee decided not to reorganize the groups, and decided that Group C would be played with Uzbekistan and Hong Kong facing each other twice.
Group C received the de facto ‘privilege’ of both Uzbekistan and Hong Kong advancing to the round of 16 regardless of the outcome of the game.
In the other group, four teams competed fiercely from the group stage to finish in the top two.
On the other hand, Uzbekistan and Hong Kong had already confirmed their advancement to the round of 16, so they played the group match comfortably as if it were a practice match.
Hong Kong advanced to the round of 16 despite losing 0-1 and 1-2 in both matches against Uzbekistan.
Great luck also followed.
Among the countries that advanced to the round of 16, Hong Kong faced Palestine, a relatively underpowered team in Group D, second place, and won 1-0 to join the quarterfinals.
Of course, there were moments when he showed off his skills.
Hong Kong pulled off an upset by beating Asian powerhouse Iran 1-0 in the quarterfinals.
Iran is ranked 21st in the FIFA rankings, the second highest ranking country in Asia after Japan (19th).
He was a favorite to win.
This is the first time that Hong Kong has advanced to the semifinals in men’s soccer since the first Asian Games in 1951, and it has been 65 years since the quarterfinals in 1958.
Hong Kong’s coach is a familiar figure to Korean soccer fans. This is Jern Andersen (Norway), who served as North Korea’s head coach from 2016 to 2018, and then took command of Incheon in the professional soccer K League 1 in 2018.
Coach Andersen said ahead of the semifinal against Japan on the 4th, “Japan has a lot of talented players,” and added, “But if we compete a little stronger, we will be able to get a chance against Japan, which has many relatively young players.” It seemed.
The winner of the Hong Kong-Japan match will compete for the gold medal in the final against the winner of the Korea-Uzbekistan match.