With three wins out of three in the group stage, Hwang Sun-hong is full of confidence for the single-legged tournament.
“We won all three games (in the group stage), so I think the mood is very good,” said the striker, 21, who met with reporters before training at the Jinhua Sports School training center in China on Saturday.
South Korea thrashed Kuwait 9-0 in the first game, then thrashed Thailand 4-0 in the second to top the group and advance to the round of 16 early. They followed that up with a 3-0 win over Bahrain in the third game to complete a sweep of the group and a clean sheet.
South Korea will face Group F runner-up Kyrgyzstan on Sunday in the Round of 16. Kyrgyzstan, which competed against North Korea, Indonesia, and Chinese Taipei in Group F, lost to North Korea and Indonesia, but beat Chinese Taipei 4-1 in the third game to beat Indonesia on goal difference and advance to the round of 16 as the second best team in Group F.
Park came on as a substitute against Kuwait and scored a goal, then started against Thailand and came off the bench again against Bahrain to help South Korea win three straight games.
“Personally, I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t score a lot of goals, but it’s just the beginning, so I want to play for the team first rather than scoring,” Park said.
“I think scoring is always the destiny of strikers,” he added, “and if I get a chance, I want to convert it into a good chance, and I want to go higher and make the Korean people happy.”
The tournament was scheduled to feature 23 nations competing in six groups of four, but was reduced to 21 after Syria and Afghanistan, who were in Group C, withdrew ahead of the tournament.
The round of 16 has been finalized through the group stage, and locals are predicting host China, Japan, and Uzbekistan as the teams that will compete with South Korea for the title. North Korea, making its first international appearance in five years, also emerged as a dark horse, finishing first in Group F.
When asked if the players thought any of the other teams in the round of 16 would be tricky, Park Jae-yong was confident: “We don’t think about who will be tricky, but we think we can beat them all if we do what we’re doing.”
When asked if he had watched any of the other teams’ group matches, he replied, “I’ve watched most of them on my phone, but there are a lot of stories about Uzbekistan and home team China in the media about ‘who is stronger’. But I don’t pay much attention to it,” he said.스포츠토토
South Korea will face Kyrgyzstan for a spot in the quarterfinals on Sunday at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in China, where they have played all three of their group games. If they beat Kyrgyzstan, they will face the winner of the China-Qatar match in the quarterfinals.
South Korea has won five Asian Games titles (1970, 1978, 1986, 2014, 2018), the most of any country in history. They won back-to-back titles in Busan in 2014 and Jakarta-Palembang in 2018. A win here would mark the first three consecutive titles in the history of the tournament.