After qualifying for the 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup, Hwang Sun-hong vowed to improve the team’s goal-scoring and focus on the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games.
Hwang Sun-hong’s Paris Olympics-ready U-22 team defeated ‘underdogs’ Myanmar 3-0 in their third Group B match of the 2024 AFC U-23 Qualifiers at the Changwon Football Center in Gyeongnam on Wednesday.
With their second consecutive win, South Korea topped Group B and qualified for the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup in April-May next year.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Hwang said, “The players played hard and we qualified. We executed our game plan well, but I think we felt impatience and difficulty because we couldn’t score.”
Hwang was held to one goal against Kyrgyzstan after suffering a 0-2 loss to Qatar in the first match of Group B on June 6.
Hwang, who scored three goals against Myanmar on the same day, said, “I saw the need for height in the early stages of the game without being dragged out by the opponent who was dense in the center,” and then added, “In the second half, the opponent seemed to be losing physical strength, so I put in a player with speed, and it worked.”
Hwang’s next goal is to qualify for her 10th consecutive Olympic Games.
At the U-23 Asian Cup, the final Asian qualifier for next year’s Paris Olympics, the team needs to finish in the top three to punch its ticket to Paris.
If they finish fourth, they will have to play a playoff against the fourth-place team from the African final qualifier.
“The most difficult thing is to improve our goal decision-making,” says Hwang. I think it was a tournament where we were not decisive in terms of chances and attacking frequency,” he said. “We have stronger opponents waiting for us in the main round, so we will improve our goal decision-making.”
Hwang will now return to the Asian Games squad and set his sights on a gold medal for Korea.
“I’m still waiting for an answer on whether Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) will join the team,” Hwang said. “I feel like I’ve finished the first round of the Olympic qualifiers, and now I’ll focus on the second round, the Asian Games.”
Myanmar, who finished their U-23 Asian Cup qualifying campaign in third place in Group B with a 1-1 draw, said, “We wanted to be more organized against the fast Korean players, but I think we didn’t execute our attacking situations well.” “We played a good game, but Korea’s level was high,” said Myanmar coach Aung Naing.
“They had a lot of talented and quality players, and they had the advantage in organization, build-up, etc. I think they will do well at the Asian Cup.” 토토