The South Korean Olympic team, led by head coach Hwang Sun-hong, earned a 3-0 victory over Myanmar in their 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup qualifying Group B match at the Changwon Football Center on Wednesday at 8 p.m. with consecutive goals from Baek Sang-hoon, Jeon Byung-kwan and Oh Jae-hyuk. The victory wrapped up the qualifiers for Hwang, who needed only a draw to top the group and qualify for the Asian Cup. It was a tough loss, but it was a good first step towards the Paris Olympics. The tournament will serve as the first qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
South Korea qualified for the U-23 Asian Cup, the final Asian qualifier for the Paris Olympics. The top four teams from each of the 11 qualifying groups, as well as the top four teams from Group 2, and hosts Qatar, will compete in the U-23 Asian Cup. The U-23 Asian Cup will be held in Qatar next April.
Korean football is aiming to become the world’s first country to qualify for 10 consecutive Olympic Games. After becoming the first team in world soccer history to qualify for nine consecutive Olympic Games, starting with the 1988 Seoul Games and ending with the 2020 Tokyo Games, the Korean national team is determined to make history by reaching double digits for the first time. Asia will get a ‘3+1’ ticket to the tournament. The top three nations from the U-23 Asian Cup qualify directly to the tournament, with the fourth-placed team playing a playoff against the fourth-placed team from the final African qualifier.
Hwang Sun-Hong has struggled in his first two matches. In a group with Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar, Hwang was aiming for a three-game sweep. Speaking at the tournament press conference on Friday, Hwang said, “I know that all four teams in the qualifiers have done a lot of preparation for the U-23 Asian Cup. It is important for us to qualify for the main event. As we are playing at home, we will fight for a good performance as well as qualification. We are not 100%, but we will try to win all three games.”
However, the first game was a bumpy ride. We suffered a shock 0-2 loss to Qatar. It was my worst game. We literally did nothing. To make matters worse, Qatar had just hired a new head coach. South Korea brought out all of their young talent, many of whom are thriving in the K League, but they couldn’t score a single goal and lost. However, as the hosts, Qatar will not be counted in the qualifiers as they have already qualified. Luckily. South Korea earned a 1-0 win in their second game against Kyrgyzstan. Hong Yun-sang’s early goal set the tone for a big score, but the Koreans struggled to find the back of the net and held on for the win.
A draw against Myanmar is all they need, but Hwang needs a big win to restore their pride. Coach Hwang pulled out his best cards. He included Lee Hyun-joo, Jung Sang-bin, Kwon Hyuk-kyu, and overseas players who had been rested due to jet lag in the starting lineup. Kim Shin-jin was in the front line, while Uhm Ji-seong, Lee Hyun-joo, and Jung Sang-bin formed the second line. Kwon Hyuk-kyu and Baek Sang-hoon guarded the midfield. Lee Tae-seok, Seong-gwan Cho, and Park Chang-woo formed the back line. Shin Song-hoon was in goal. There were seven new players compared to the Kyrgyzstan game.
Myanmar lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Okhkar Naying started up top. Khun Kyaw Zin Htin, Zaw Won Thein, and Htin Htet Aung were the second line. The third line consisted of Yan Kiau Soe and Arkar Kiau. The defense was formed by Nyan Lin Hatte, Te Hain Soe, Rat Wai Phhone, and Khaw Hatte Paing. The goalkeeping gloves were worn by Phee Pheo Thu.스포츠토토
It was another early goal for the hosts. In the fourth minute of the first half, Lee Tae-seok exchanged passes with Uhm Ji-sung and sent in a cross. Baek Sang-hoon rushed into the box and split the goal with a header. After the goal, Korea continued to pound the Myanmar goal. In the eighth minute, Park Chang-woo sent in a cross from the right side. Um Ji Sung connected with a header. It went in. Two minutes later, Jung Sang-bin sent in a sharp early cross from the right. It flashed past Kim Shin-jin. Um Ji-sung got the ball from behind, but was called offside.
In the 18th minute, Kim Shin-jin attempted a header that went wide. Jung Sang-bin broke through and sent in an accurate cross. After a nice move, Kim Shin-shin got a header on the ball, but it didn’t go in. In the 23rd minute, Kwon Hyuk-kyu’s long pass was picked up by Jung Sang-bin. He tried to take a quick left-footed shot. It went wide. In the 33rd minute, Lee Tae-seok sent in a cross from the left. The ball rebounded back to Baek Sang-hoon, who dived in to shoot. It was blocked by the goalkeeper.
Three minutes later, Jung Sang-bin made a great run down the right side. He sent up a cross. Um Ji Sung penetrated and tried to shoot, but it didn’t go in. In the 39th minute, Jung Sang-bin broke through the center and launched a counterattack. Um Ji-sung folded and tried a left-footed shot. It went just wide of the goal. In first-half stoppage time, Sang-bin tried a powerful right-footed shot from the right side. It was blocked by a super save from the goalkeeper. South Korea pushed Myanmar hard, not allowing a single shot on goal, but only managed to score one goal in the first half.
South Korea brought on Min Kyung-hyun for Park Chang-woo at the start of the second half. In the sixth minute of the second half, Um Ji Sung beat one defender on the left before unleashing a thunderous right-footed curling kick. It narrowly missed the goal. A minute later, Lee Tae-seok broke through and sent in a cross. Jung Sang-bin moved to the center and had a no-mark opportunity. However, his volley went wide.
Myanmar’s first shot came in the 10th minute of the second half. They tried a mid-range shot, but it went wide of the goal. A minute later, they had a crisis. On a free kick, the defense made a poor clearance, which led to a Myanmar player. He had a chance to beat the keeper, but he couldn’t get a good shot off. With the crisis over, Korea went back on the attack. In the 16th minute, a cross from the left was headed in by Kim Shin-jin, but it was not quite on target. In the 18th minute, Myanmar created their first shot on goal, albeit a weak one.
With momentum on their side, Myanmar continued to make aggressive substitutions, showing their determination to find an equalizer. South Korea continued to be frustrated. In the 25th minute, Kim Shin-jin connected with a free kick from Um Ji Sung, but her shot hit the wall. In the 29th minute, Lee Hyun-joo broke through on her own and combined with Jung Sang-bin on a counterattack, but couldn’t finish.