Hwang Sun-hong had an accident on the road in Europe.
China’s men’s soccer team stunned France, the favorite to host the Olympic Games in Paris next July, with a convincing victory on home soil.
After proving his leadership skills by winning gold at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games last month, the Olympic team’s head coach, Hwang Sun-hong, embraced the victory over France despite coaching his players on crutches following knee surgery. It’s a confidence boost ahead of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup 2024 and the final Asian qualifiers for the Paris Olympics in Doha, Qatar, next April.
The Hwang Sun-hong-led South Korea U-22s defeated the France U-21s 3-0 in a friendly at Stade Ocean in Le Havre, France, on Monday (Sept. 21), thanks to a multi-goal outburst from striker Jung Sang-bin, who has also been capped by the national team.
After drawing 0-0 in a friendly match against local Ligue 1 club Le Havre during their training camp in France, the Koreans were able to return home with a big smile on their faces after pulling off a stunning 3-0 victory over the French elite in the main event of the tournament.
Hwang’s opponent, the French U-21 team, is a year younger than the Koreans. South Korea has assembled a team of players born on or after January 1, 2001, for next year’s Asian qualifiers and the main competition at the Paris Olympics. France, on the other hand, rostered players born after Jan. 1, 2002, for the 2025 European U-21 Championship.
Europe uses the age of players at the time of qualification to determine the name of the tournament, with U-21 now referring to players under the age of 21.
Hwang Sun-hong named Shin Song-hoon (Gimcheon) in goal against France, along with Jeon Byeong-kwan (Daejeon), Lee Kang-hee (Gyeongnam), Hwang Jae-won (Daegu), Kang Sung-jin (Suwon), Cho Hyun-taek (Ulsan), Cho Wi-je (Busan), Ahn Jae-joon (Bucheon), Son Seong-kwan (Bucheon), Um Ji-sung (Gwangju) and Min Kyung-hyun (Incheon) in the starting lineup. Among them, Hwang Jae-won and Ahn Jae-joon, who won gold medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games, started in the center of Hwang Sun-hong-ho.
Shin Song-hoon, who is known as Korea’s “David Raya” (Arsenal goalkeeper) for his outstanding skills despite his short stature of 180 centimeters, also stood out in goal.
On the other hand, three overseas players started from the bench, including defender Kim Ji-soo, who plays for Brentford in the English Premier League, forward Jung Sang-bin, who plays for Minnesota in the Major League Soccer (MLS), and midfielder Kwon Hyuk-gyu, who plays for Celtic in Scotland.
The home team, France, brought out a colorful lineup for the match against South Korea.
Gillome Leste (Toulouse) was in goal, while Gennuel Belosian (Rennes), Issa Touré (Lorient), and Crislain Matshima (Monaco) formed the back three. Ismael Doucoure (Strasbourg), Magny Acklioche (Monaco), Leslie Ugochukwu (Chelsea), and Kylian Sildilia (Freiburg) rounded out the midfield, with Bradley Barcola, who has recently been used as a starting attacking option alongside Lee Kang-in at PSG.
Matthijs Tell, a 19-year-old striker who has been Harry Kane’s backup this season at German giants Bayern Munich, is up front alongside Stade Rennes striker Arnaud Calimande.
The French outnumbered the Koreans in terms of name recognition, with the entire roster comprised of players from the Premier League and Bundesliga, with a focus on the French Ligue 1. After the actual kickoff whistle, they pushed Hwang Sun-Hong into the box.
However, South Korea showed their characteristic grit to shut down the French attack and then caught a break in the second half with a series of shots on target.
With goalkeeper Shin Song-hoon making saves and Calimuando’s shot hitting the post, Korea went into halftime 0-0 and looked forward to the second half.
South Korea took the lead in the 25th minute off a set piece. A free kick from the far left side of the arc was taken by Jung Sang-bin, who took it directly with his right foot and the kick rattled the top left corner of the French goal.
South Korea added another goal nine minutes later in the 34th minute of the second half, and once again, it was Sang-bin who was the hero. After playing for Suwon Samsung before moving to Wolverhampton in the Premier League and then going straight to Zurich in Switzerland, Sang-bin was unable to find his feet and moved to Minnesota this year. His return to form in Minnesota came against France.
After Cho Hyun-taek’s ground ball cross from the left flank was cleverly deflected between two players and opposing goalkeeper Leste, Sang-bin slotted it home with his right foot in the box.
With a 2-0 lead, South Korea smiled as they scored a second goal in stoppage time.
Substitute Hong Yun-sang took advantage of a defensive lapse in the opponent’s half and curled a long-range right-footed shot from near the arc that rattled the net. France is coached by legendary Thierry Henry, one of the best strikers in Premier League history, and the French coach was clearly disappointed as he turned his back on the team after conceding the third goal 아톰카지노 도메인.
With the win, Hwang can now focus on the U-23 Asian Cup, which is just five months away, after a disappointing performance in September’s U-23 Asian Cup qualifier against Qatar.
In the meantime, South Korea’s performance at the U-23 level was also a reminder that they are doing well in the face of Japan’s surprise 5-2 win over Argentina at home.
Hwang plans to focus on the krigger in January and February. The team needs to finish in the top three at the U-23 Asian Cup to qualify for the Olympics. If they finish fourth, they will play a playoff against the fourth-place team from the African qualifiers.
South Korea will become the first country in the world to qualify for 10 consecutive Olympic men’s soccer tournaments. At the last Olympics in Tokyo, the team qualified for the ninth time in a row, making world soccer history. Next year’s Olympic Games in Paris will be held from July 24 to August 10. In addition to host France, 10 other countries have qualified, including Spain, Ukraine and Israel (Europe), the United States and the Dominican Republic (CONCACAF), Morocco, Egypt, Mali (Africa) and New Zealand (Oceania).