Japan to play one less game, Uzbekistan already booked for round of 16…butterfly effect on Hwang Sun-hong?

There’s a new twist in South Korea’s quest for a third straight gold medal at the Asian Games. Two teams have already qualified for the Round of 16, and one of the favorites is Uzbekistan.

The Korean Asian Games soccer team, which will be looking to win gold at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, will kick off their group stage campaign against Kuwait at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Jinhua, China, at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on June 19.

Hwang will be looking to win his third consecutive gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games. South Korea won gold at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang.

South Korea’s lineup is particularly impressive this time around. The 2019 U-20 World Cup semifinalist, Lee Kwang-yeon, is one of the best players in the history of the national team at any age, along with Cho Young-wook; two of the hottest flankers in the K League, Uhm Won-sang and Song Min-gyu; Lee Han-beom, who recently left FC Seoul for Mittwilan; a wildcard of Jung Woo-young, Park Kyu-han, Baek Seung-ho, Park Jin-seop and Seol Young-woo; and Lee Kang-in, one of the best midfielders in the country.

It’s a well organized Asian Games, with Kuwait, Thailand, and Bahrain in the mix. Although Lee won’t arrive in China until the evening of the 21st, the expectation is that the group stage will be a breeze.

One of the variables at this stage of the tournament was that, as a result of the draw, “eternal rivals” Japan were placed in Group D, where they would play two teams (Palestine and Qatar) to conserve their strength, rather than three as in other groups.

On the 18th, another variable came into play. One of the favorites, Uzbekistan, had already qualified for the round of 16.

“After Afghanistan and Syria withdrew, fellow group members Uzbekistan and Hong Kong advanced to the round of 16 at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games,” Chinese media outlet Gibo8 reported that day.

Uzbekistan and Hong Kong were drawn in Group C at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games alongside Afghanistan and Syria. The first match will be between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, followed by Hong Kong and Syria in the second match, Syria and Uzbekistan in the third match, Afghanistan and Hong Kong in the fourth match, and finally Uzbekistan and Hong Kong, Syria and Afghanistan in the final match.

However, the situation seems to have changed. “Uzbekistan and Hong Kong are in the same group as Syria and Afghanistan, which have withdrawn from the tournament,” the outlet reported.

“After the two countries withdrew from Asian Games football, organizers and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) technical officials held a hastily arranged meeting and decided to enforce the rule that the second-placed team in the group will go straight to the round of 16 without any rule changes,” the source said.

This means that Uzbekistan and Hong Kong will head to the round of 16 after playing just one match, a ‘group stage decider’ against each other. The tournament will feature the top two teams from each group (12 teams in total) and the four best performers from the top three groups, so Uzbekistan and Hong Kong are the only two remaining teams in Group C, which has already been eliminated.스포츠토토

A single game in a short tournament puts a lot of pressure on players and the team as a whole to manage their fitness. Depending on the style of play, it can be unexpectedly exhausting, and in the worst case scenario, injuries can occur. South Korea, in particular, has a tough schedule, facing Kuwait on the 19th and then Thailand on the 20th with only a few days of recovery training. Under these circumstances, Uzbekistan’s ‘bloodless’ run to the Round of 16 could be a game changer for the upcoming tournament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *