Who would have thought that Lee Kang-in (22, PSG) would be competing for a starting spot on the Korean national team at the Asian Games? But against Uzbekistan, they’ll need him.
스포츠토토The South Korean Asian Games football team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, will face Uzbekistan, the fourth-ranked team at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China.
After a 2-0 victory over the ‘home team’ China, South Korea advanced to the quarterfinals and now face the ‘favorite’ Uzbekistan on the road to gold. Uzbekistan advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia before South Korea’s match on Monday.
[OSEN=Hangzhou (China), Kyuhan Choi] The men’s football round of 16 match between South Korea and China at the ’19th Hangzhou Asian Games’ was held at Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on the afternoon of Oct. 1. Go Young-jun of South Korea breaks through in the first half. 2023.10.01 / firstname.lastname@example.org
On the first day of the match against China, Hwang Sun-hong made an unorthodox starting lineup, sending “ace” Lee Kang-in, “gun” Jung Woo-young, and Uhm Won-sang, who had combined to form the second line, to the bench. Instead, Song Min-kyu, Ko Young-joon, and Ahn Jae-joon started. On the left flank, Park Kyu-hyun started in place of “wild card” Seol Young-woo.
Most notable was Lee Kang-in’s ‘benching’. Lee had been gradually increasing his playing time, playing 35 minutes in Game 2 and 60 minutes in Game 3, so he was expected to start again.
However, Lee was named as a substitute. Instead, Ko Young-joon got the start.
When the starting lineup was revealed, everyone was puzzled, but when the lid was lifted, everyone nodded. In the third match against Bahrain, Lee Kang-in started the offense with bold breakthroughs and sharp kicks, but as time went on, he seemed to struggle. His defense became lax.
Ko Young-jun, who came on as a substitute for Lee Kang-in in that game, brought balance to South Korea’s defense with his work rate and ability to get involved in the defense, but he also has the ability to play offense. So far in the tournament, he has one goal and four assists.
Against China, Lee came on as a substitute for Go in the 20th minute. Before he was subbed off, Ko was active and attacking China. He was also the one who took the first shot of the game.
It was a moment that made the joke that Lee Kang-in and Hwang Sun-hong-ho should be competing for a starting spot a reality.
South Korea faces Uzbekistan, one of the favorites to win the tournament, and this could be the game where Lee’s skills are needed.
Uzbekistan brings a five-back defense to the tournament. Their solid defense is backed by a solid and dynamic counterattack. A decisive “killer pass” is needed to break the Uzbek defense. To win, you need to score from clear chances. And for the Hwangsuns, Lee Kang-in is the player most capable of making these killer passes.
Lee can also be used as a dedicated free kicker, and his kicking ability will be put to the test against Uzbekistan in what is expected to be an unusually tough match.
After the match against China, Hwang Sun-hong said, “I made the starting lineup according to the opponent. Our strikers were all in good shape, so whoever we put on the field could do their job. We pressed forward and used a lot of energy. We didn’t have any players who played the full 90 minutes except Cho Young-wook. Before the tournament, I told the attacking players that we were playing without any physicality. It doesn’t matter who starts. It’s positive that everyone is in good shape,” he said, adding that anyone can start.