Jung Woo-young (24-Stuttgart) has continued South Korea’s streak of Asian Games soccer goalscorers.
Jung Woo-young started and played 62 minutes in the men’s football final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games against Japan at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday, scoring the equalizer in a 2-1 victory.
Trailing 0-1 in the 27th minute, Hwang Jae-won sent a cross into the box and Jung Woo-young rattled the net with a header. It was Jung’s eighth goal of the tournament. He surpassed Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Halil Maran, who scored five goals, as the tournament’s top scorer.
Jung became the fourth South Korean to score in soccer at the Asian Games. He joins Seo Jung-won (4 goals) in 1990, Hwang Sun-hong (11 goals) in 1994, and Hwang Eui-jo (9 goals) in 2018.
Like his predecessors, Jung’s performance at the tournament was remarkable. In a pre-tournament interview, he said, “My first priority is to dedicate myself to the team and help my teammates stand out,” and he did just that from the first game.
He scored a hat trick against Kuwait in the first game of the group stage, leading to a 9-0 win. After being rested for the remaining two group games, Jung returned to his competitive nature as the tournament progressed.
In the Round of 16 against Kyrgyzstan, she scored two goals in a 5-1 win. He scored the opening goal and the game-winner against Uzbekistan in a nail-biting quarterfinal match that ended in a 2-1 victory. Even in the final against Japan, when the team was shaken by an unexpected blow, Jung calmly scored the equalizer to win the title.
Wearing the number 7, the number of national team captain Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), may have given him a boost. After his hat trick in the first game, he said, “It’s an honor to wear Heung-min’s number, but it’s also a burden,” but he was able to overcome the weight of the number 7, which symbolizes an ace, and play a spearheading role in the win.
Jung Woo-young has also attracted attention for his unusual post-goal celebrations at the tournament. After each goal, she raised her left hand to shoulder height, looked down at her wrist, and placed the index finger of her right hand on her temple.
The ritual was so contagious that teammates and even members of the women’s national team copied it. The post-goal gesture, she said, was a way to remember the time she scored the goal. It’s a move she developed after her move to Stuttgart, but only saw the light of day at the Asian Games.
In many ways, the tournament will have a positive impact on his future career. After struggling for playing time 토토 with Freiburg in the German Bundesliga in the 2022-2023 season, Jung made the move to Stuttgart this season and has been able to improve his fitness through playing time. At the Asian Games, where he was released by his club, he proved his worth as the top scorer.
With his Asian Games gold medal, he can now enjoy the benefits of military service and continue his career in European professional soccer. It will be interesting to see if he can match the performance of Son Heung-min in Europe.