Sun Hong-ho Hwang got off to a shaky start to his Paris Olympics campaign. The Korean team was outplayed in both offense and defense by Qatar.
Hwang Sun-hong’s Olympic team (U-22) fell 0-2 to Qatar in their first Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup qualifier at the Changwon Football Center at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Korea conceded two goals, one to Ahmed Alawi in the first half and the other to Mansour Al Abdullah in the second. Coach Hwang Sun-hong made several substitutions in search of an equalizer, but was unable to generate any meaningful offense.
After the first match, the Olympic team will next face Kyrgyzstan on Sept. 9 at the same venue and Myanmar on Sept. 12. The U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers will feature the four best-performing teams from the first and second place finishers in each of the 11 groups, as well as hosts Qatar. Teams will have to finish in the top three to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games next April in Qatar. South Korea is drawn in Group B of the qualifiers, and the match against Qatar will not affect the group standings. The previous match between Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan ended in a 1-1 draw.
Hwang Sun-hongho’s best 11 during the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifying match between South Korea and Qatar at the Changwon Football Center on June 6.
Hwang Sun-hong, who has been training in Changwon since the 28th of last month, opted for a 4-1-4-1 formation against Qatar. Heo Yul was up front, while Uhm Ji Sung and Jeon Byung Kwan were deployed on the left and right flanks. The midfield was Kang Hyun-mook, Lee Jin-yong, and Kang Hyun-mook. The back four was Lee Tae-seok, Cho Sung-kwon, Cho Wi-je, and Min Kyung-hyun, and Baek Jong-beom wore the goalkeeper’s gloves. Overseas players Jung Sang-bin, Lee Hyun-joo, and Kwon Hyuk-gyu all waited on the bench to start.
Hwang Sun-hong, whose presence was felt on the left flank, had the first shot on goal in the 12th minute. Lee Tae-seok sent in a ground ball cross that was met by Jeon Byung-kwan with a low shot that was saved by the goalkeeper’s foot. Two minutes later, Jeon Byung-kwan’s shot from a cross by Heo Yul went wide of the goal.메이저놀이터
A match between South Korea and Qatar during the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifying match at the Changwon Football Center on Saturday. Alawi scores the first goal with a quick shot on the counterattack in the 38th minute. Photo by Yonhap
A match between South Korea and Qatar during the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifying match at the Changwon Football Center on Saturday. South Korean players react after conceding a goal to Qatar’s Ahmed Alawi in the 38th minute. Photo by Yonhap
Afterward, Hwang Sun-hong tried to attack the left and right flanks with high possession. Uhm Ji Sung and Jeon Byung Kwan were at the center.
However, the first goal belonged to Qatar. In the 38th minute, Ahmed Alawi trapped a long pass with his chest and shook the Korean goal with a surprise right-footed shot. Three minutes later, Hwang Sun-hong-ho was caught out by a back-pass mistake. In the 41st minute, a clearing mistake led to another chance for Alawi. Fortunately, Alawi’s shot went wide left of the goal.
At halftime, the score was 5-8, but Qatar had more shots on goal. Hwang had only one shot on target.
In the second half, coach Hwang Sun-hong made a change at the start of the second half, taking off Kang Hyun-mook and Jeon Byung-kwan and introducing Baek Sang-hoon and Hong Yun-sang.
South Korea vs. Qatar in the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifying Match at the Changwon Football Center on June 6. South Korea coach Hwang Sun-hong gives instructions to his players. Photo by Yonhap
South Korea and Qatar during the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifying match at the Changwon Football Center on Saturday. Qatar’s players celebrate after Al-Abdullah’s lucky goal in the second half. Photo by Yonhap
Hwang tried to press hard up front, but Qatar quickly counterattacked with a few passes.
In the ground situation, the team tried to build up calmly and draw the opponent down, but they were unable to get an effective shot. In response, coach Hwang Sun-hong pulled out a card for Lee Hyun-joo in the 15th minute of the second half. Lee Hyun-joo, who plays for Werder Wiesbaden in the German Bundesliga 2, took the field in place of Lee Jin-yong.
However, Qatar added another goal. In the 21st minute, Mansour Al-Abdullah’s header from a throw-in bounced between the defense and goalkeeper Baek Jong-beom and found the back of the net. It was a combination of mistake and luck.
In the 23rd minute, Heo Yul struggled up front, but his left-footed shot was wide. In the 34th minute, Uhm Ji Sung followed up a cross from Hong Yoon Sang in the box with a right-footed shot, but this time it went over the bar.
In the 40th minute, Park Chang-woo followed up Heo Yul’s header with a volley that was saved by the goalkeeper. Five minutes into stoppage time, Heo Yul’s shot also went wide. Hwang Seon-hong-ho was unable to find the back of the net until the end.