South Korea national soccer team midfielder Hwang In-beom (Zvezda) has shared some heartfelt advice from coach Chaduri.

Jürgen Klinsmann’s side drew 3-3 with Malaysia in their final Group E match of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup at the Al-Janub Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Friday (Jan. 25).

With five points (one win, two draws), South Korea ended up finishing second in the group instead of the top spot they had hoped for. The top spot went to Bahrain, who finished with 6 points (2 wins, 1 draw).

South Korea had already secured a spot in the round of 16. However, they went all out to top their group, bringing in a number of key players including Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), and Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich).

Malaysia, led by Kim Pang Gon, is ranked 130th in the FIFA rankings, a whopping 107 spots below South Korea, which is ranked 23rd. As such, it was widely expected that South Korea would come away with a multi-goal victory.

However, South Korea struggled against Malaysia and eventually settled for a hard-fought draw. Considering that Malaysia are the underdogs, this was as good as a loss.

Meeting in the mixed zone after the match, Hwang In-beom blamed his own mistakes for the loss. Six minutes into the second half with a 1-0 lead, he gave the ball away to his opponent, which led to a goal.

“I think I set the tone in the second half with my personal mistake,” Hwang said, “and even after the game, I apologized and thanked the players in the locker room.” “Even though we conceded at the end, I’m really grateful for the way we fought back,” he added.

There was a questionable call on the goal. An opposing attacker pushed Hwang In-bum and intercepted the ball, but after a video assistant referee (VAR) review, no foul was called.

“I thought it was a foul too, and the game was played as it was, but of course I thought the video review would change the result, but it didn’t,” Hwang said. However, he added, “I think that’s part of the game. All I could do was think, ‘Let’s take a finer touch next time,'” he said.

Instead of Park Yong-woo (Al Ain), who played alongside him in the first and second games, Hwang In-beom paired Lee Jae-sung (Mainz) in the center of the defense. Lee Jae-sung is a bit more aggressive, so Hwang In-beom had a lot of pressure on his defense.

“I played the so-called No. 6 role, and whether it was a foul or not, I could have had a more perfect touch in the goal, but I made a small mistake,” Hwang said, “I think it’s a tough position for anyone. It’s a position where if you do really well and make one or two mistakes, you’re highlighted too much.”

However, he has already contributed to the offense with two goals, one in each of the first and second games. “I think we shouldn’t hesitate to shoot whenever we have a chance,” Hwang said, adding, “If I feel like it’s open, I tend to try.”

However, in today’s game, he seemed to be a little out of sync. “It’s unfortunate that it didn’t work out today,” he said, “but I think it’s important to finish with more confidence and boldness in tournaments.”

Hwang was impressed with the advice given to him in the locker room after the match by his coach, Chaduri. “He said, ‘A team with only good players is not the same as a good team. Especially in a competition like this, the mood and color of the team is really important,” he said.

“In order to make the best use of the players’ strengths, we have to work together as a team,” said Hwang. “We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we made it to the round of 16 anyway. Now, we will prepare well with the same mindset as one.”


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