After topping the men’s soccer group at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games and securing an early round of 16 berth, Hwang Sun-hong is looking for the ‘golden combination’ to complete his golden plan.
The Hangzhou Asian Games team, coached by Hwang Sun-hong, will face Bahrain in the third match of the Games’ Men’s Football Group E on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. (CET) at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Zhejiang, China.
With two straight wins (9-0) against Kuwait (4-0) and Thailand (4-0), South Korea has secured a spot in the Round of 16 regardless of the outcome of this match.
A win by second-place Bahrain (2 points) would not upset the standings.
Hwang Sun-hong, the first Korean coach to reach the tournament at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which were pushed back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will look to find the “golden combination” against Bahrain.
Despite the 4-0 win over Thailand, Hwang was disappointed with the second-half performance and said he will use the game against Bahrain to prepare for the tournament.
He plans to find a combination that will maximize the team’s strength by using players who have had little time to work together.
“We have some new players and some players who are finding their form,” Hwang said after the Thailand game. We haven’t been able to train together as a whole,” he said, “so we’re going to use this as a time to check our first and second pools. We’ll use the third match as a step to prepare for the tournament.”
Another concern is the availability of “soccer genius” Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who joined Hwang Seon-hong late on the 21st.
The last time Lee played with Hwang was against Japan in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup on June 12 last year.
The European international has not played with Hwang’s teammates since then due to his busy schedule with the national team.
There is no doubt about Lee’s individual skills, but he needs time to improve his teamwork.
The final group game against Bahrain, with no consequences, is the perfect opportunity to test new combinations and tactics, including Lee Kang-in.
While Hwang has been in dominant form, scoring 13 goals and not conceding a single goal in two consecutive group wins, he will need Lee to be at his best to overcome the likes of Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan in the tournament. 토토사이트
However, it is unclear if Hwang will use Lee against Bahrain.
Lee made his comeback in about a month after coming on as a second-half substitute in the first leg of the 2023-2024 UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage match against Dortmund (Germany) on Oct. 20.