Hwang Sun-hong’s quest for back-to-back Olympics begins. The first match of the Asian Cup qualifiers for the Olympic berths begins.
The Korea U-23 National Team will kick off the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup qualifying schedule on Saturday at 7:50 p.m. at the Changwon Football Center. The U-23 Asian Cup is an Olympic qualifying tournament, with the top three teams from the tournament going directly to the Olympics and the fourth-place finisher playing a playoff against the fourth-place team from the African qualifiers.
If the team qualifies for Paris, it will be the first team in the world to qualify for 10 consecutive Olympic Games. The team made history by qualifying for nine consecutive tournaments at the last edition and will be looking to do it again.
South Korea is in Group B of the U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers. They will open their campaign against Qatar, followed by Kyrgyzstan (Sept. 9) and Myanmar (Sept. 12). With just over an hour to go before kickoff, the starting lineup against Qatar was announced.
Heo Yul would be the main man aiming for the Qatari goal. He was joined in the back by Uhm Ji Sung, Kang Hyun-mook, Lee Jin-yong, Jeon Byung-kwan, and Oh Jae-hyuk. In defense, Kim Kyung-hyun, Cho Sung-kwon, Cho Woo-jae, and Lee Tae-seok, while Baek Jong-beom wears the goalkeeping gloves.
Hwang Sun-hong, head coach of the Korea U-23 National Team, spoke at the official press conference for the U-23 Asian Cup Qualification Group B held at the Grand Mercure Hotel in Changwon, Gyeongnam, on May 5. Looking ahead to the qualifying schedule, including the match against Qatar, he said, “I know that all the teams have prepared well for the U-23 Championship. It is also important for Korea to qualify for the main event. We are playing at home. We are preparing to win every game. We will reward them with a good result.”
The team lost Byun Joon-soo and Kang Yoon-gu to injuries, but the team has utilized its talent pool to fill the void. Hwang also has a number of age-group squads for the Asian Games. “We had some difficulties in selecting the team, but thanks to the help of the K League coaches, we were able to select the team. “We’re not 100%, but that’s not an excuse for the result or the situation. We will do our best to prepare well for the game at home.” 안전놀이터
Looking ahead to the match against Qatar, he said, “Qatar is the home team in the tournament. They are a team that prepares for the long haul. They are a team to watch out for. Tomorrow’s game will give us a taste of Middle Eastern soccer. It’s a chance for us to test how competitive we can be in the championship,” he said.
The Qatar coach has only been in charge for a short time. “We’ve had very little time to prepare, but it’s a chance to get to know the Qatari players. It’s one of the most important tournaments for me as well,” he said, adding, “We are ready for Korea. We believe we can win every match. It will be a chance to test us. It will be a good opportunity to see the organization of the national team.”