The Korean Asian Games national team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, won a thrilling 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Japan in the men’s soccer final of the Hangzhou Asian Games at Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, at 9 p.m. on the 7th (Korea time). South Korea rose to the top for the first time in three consecutive years, following Incheon in 2014 and Jakarta-Palembang in 2018.
At the center of the victory was Cho Young-wook. He started as a forward striker in the 4-2-3-1 formation. Cho Young-wook, who had been actively aiming for a goal since the beginning of the game, scored a come-from-behind goal in the 11th minute of the second half when the game was tight at 1-1. Hwang Jae-won (Daegu) boldly overlapped near the opponent’s box. After that, he fell and connected to Jung Woo-young in the gate. Cho Young-wook calmly cut the net after catching the ball that flowed to the side after hitting Jung Woo-young’s foot.
Cho Young-wook is the ace of the national team by age. Prior to this tournament, he played 78 national team games by age alone. In 2019, he contributed to the runner-up finish at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. He also played his part in the K-League. Prior to his enlistment, he was the main striker of K League 1 FC Seoul. Even after joining Gimcheon Sangmu, he continued his hot toes. He scored 13 goals in the K League 2 (minor league) stage this season.
Cho Young-wook participated in the competition as a soldier. It was the only one. If he won a gold medal, he could receive military service benefits. Literally, it was possible to ‘early discharge’ at the same time as the gold medal. 슬롯머신
Cho Young-wook played an active role as the main striker of ‘Hwang Sun-hong-ho.’ He mainly played as a front-line striker, but depending on the situation, he changed his position and flew fast. He aimed for “three goals” before this tournament, and he has already scored three goals until the semifinals. And Cho Young-wook scored at the most important moment, giving South Korea a victory. Cho Young-wook was replaced by Um Won-sang (Ulsan Hyundai) in the 27th minute of the second half when he was leading 2-1. A loud round of applause broke out.
Meanwhile, South Korea has been on a smoother path than anyone else in this tournament. They defeated Kuwait 9-0 in their first group match. Thailand (4-0) – defeated Bahrain (3-0) in a row, advancing to the tournament as the No. 1 player in Group E. In the round of 16, they defeated Kyrgyzstan 5–1. In the quarterfinals, they beat “home team” China 2-0. Despite the continent’s unilateral cheering, Korea smiled brightly while taking victory. “Hwang Sun-hong-ho” settled in the final with Uzbekistan 2-1 in the semifinals. South Korea made it to the final stage without much trouble.
The last opponent was Japan, the ‘forever rival’. It was “Deja vu.” South Korea and Japan also clashed in the final of the Jakarta-Palembang tournament five years ago. At that time, South Korea won the game after a close game.
Japan was not the “Choi Jung-ye” of this tournament. Of the 22 participants in this tournament, 10 were from the university team. Also, the average age was about two years younger than Korea. Japan was forming a squad for the 2024 Paris Olympics. However, Japan has been stable throughout the tournament. Qatar (3:1), Palestine (1:0), Myanmar (7:0), North Korea (2:1) and Hong Kong (4:0).
South Korea slowed down by losing a point to the opponent two minutes into the game. However, in the 27th minute of the first half, Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart) scored a tying header and Cho Young-wook’s winning goal to complete the victory.