Hwang Sun-hong has a chance to erase the pain of the Uzbekistan defeat as a player and coach.
Hwang Sun-hong’s Asian Games team will take on Uzbekistan in the men’s football quarterfinals of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Thursday (June 4) at 9 p.m. KST.
It’s a return match after five years.
At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, Kim Hak-bum’s men faced Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals, with the Uzbeks pushing them to the brink of elimination.
Hwang Ui-jo’s goal in the fourth minute of the first half gave Uzbekistan the lead, but they conceded an equalizer through Zarolidin Masharipov, and then Hwang Ui-jo scored the winning goal in the eighth and tenth minutes of the second half.
The national team fought back to level the game in the 30th minute of the second half when Hwang Ui-jo scored a theatrical equalizer.
After 90 minutes of scoreless play, the game went into overtime.
In overtime, goals didn’t come easily either. It wasn’t until the 13th minute of extra time, just before the penalty shootout, that Hwang Hee-chan scored a penalty kick to win 4-3 and advance to the quarterfinals. 안전토토사이트
Hwang also faced Uzbekistan at the Asian Games as a player. It was 29 years ago in the quarterfinals of the 1994 Hiroshima Games, but it wasn’t a great experience. Hwang’s team lost to Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals.
At the tournament, Hwang played some legendary games. In his first group game against Nepal, he scored a whopping eight goals in an 11-0 thrashing. Hwang’s eight goals are still the most in an A-Match in history.
After defeating Oman 2-1 in the second round, the team advanced to the quarterfinals despite a 0-1 loss to Kuwait in the third round.
In the quarterfinals against Korea, Hwang’s multi-goal performance led to a 3-2 victory.
With momentum on their side, they faced Uzbekistan in the semifinals, but their offensive prowess throughout the tournament failed to pay off as Ha Seok-joo’s shot hit the post.
A critical mistake by goalkeeper Cha Sang-kwang led to the goal.
Opposing striker Azamat Abduraymov made a crotch-flicking mistake on a mid-range shot from near the halfway line, which turned out to be the game-winning goal and the Korean national team lost 0-1.
The price of a defensive lapse in a one-goal game was elimination from the tournament.
In the third-place game, they faced Kuwait, their teammates from the group stage, again, and lost 0-1, settling for a bronze medal. Military immunity was still in place at the time, and many players had to go to the army after the shock loss to Uzbekistan.
Coach Hwang Sun-hong knows all too well what it was like 29 years ago.
“Uzbekistan is very straightforward, powerful and energetic,” he said after the quarterfinal match against China.
They can be quite difficult to play against with their strength.
We need to prepare well tactically,” he said.
However, he continues to emphasize mental strength to his players to avoid repeating their mistakes. “The best enemy is within us,” said Hwang.
We must never let our guard down, be confident, but take a step back.
We will prepare well so that we can go to the final,” he said, urging the players to never be complacent.
Just as a single mistake led to defeat, so too did a mistake lead to a goal and a loss to Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan, an age-group powerhouse, is one of the favorites to win the tournament with its solid physicality and straightforward football.
It’s a mountain to climb for Hwang, who is looking to win his third straight Asian Games.
It will be interesting to see if Hwang can beat Uzbekistan and erase the pain of his playing days.