Japan is on alert as the South Korean soccer team announces its roster for the Hangzhou Asian Games.
The Under-24 (U-24) team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, announced its final 22-man roster for the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) in September.
The event was originally scheduled to take place in 2022, but was postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the age limit for players was adjusted to 24 and under (born in 1999). The final roster has also been expanded from 20 to 22 players.
Hwang will head to Hangzhou with a huge task ahead of him: to win gold for the third time in a row, following his previous victories in Incheon in 2014 and Jakarta-Palembang in 2018.
To accomplish this, Hwang has included Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) and four Europeans in Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), Hong Hyun-seok (KAA Gent) and Park Kyu-hyun (Dynamo Dresden). At the same time, they chose Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Park Jin-seop, and Baek Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Hyundai) as wild cards with no age limit.
The announcement of Hwang Sun-hong’s name was met with nervousness in Japan. Japan lost to Kim Hak-bum’s Korea in the final of the Jakarta-Palembang tournament and had to settle for runner-up.
Japan’s Soccer Digest warned on the 15th that the team is in “super serious mode, calling up four Europeans, including midfielder Lee Kang-in, who just completed a move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), and utilizing all of their wild cards.”
“That’s because military service is mandatory for all men of age in South Korea, but athletes are exempt from military service if they win an Olympic medal or an Asian Games gold medal.”
Regarding Lee Kang-in, he said, “I am concerned about Lee Kang-in’s call-up. The Asian Games are not recognized as an A-match period, so we don’t have the privilege to call him up.”
In fact, coach Hwang Sun-hong said, “We are still in communication with Lee Kang-in, and his will to participate is strong.” He added, “We had already coordinated the transfer with his former team, Mallorca, but we still need to coordinate as the transfer to PSG is proceeding rapidly. Lee’s will is strong, so it will be coordinated well.”바카라
The media outlet also noted that Korea won the Jakarta-Palembang tournament with a must-win attitude, calling up Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Hwang Eui-jo (Nottingham) as wild cards, before beating Japan in the final.
In particular, the outlet compared the two teams, noting that “once again, Japan is sending an Under-22 (U-22) team in anticipation of next year’s Paris Olympics, while South Korea is taking on the competition with an age-restricted U-24 squad”.
Hwang Sun-hong, the head coach, was also described. “The team is led by Hwang Sun-hong, a former South Korean national team striker who played for Cerezo Osaka and Kashiwa Reysol,” the outlet wrote.