Hwang Seon-Hong Ho sees potential for a ‘great second string’…keywords now include ‘managing injuries’, ‘finding frontline owners’, ‘identifying weak positions’

The road to a first-ever triple Asian Games title is clear. Led by head coach Hwang Sun-hong (55), the U-24 team is picking up the pace with 100 days to go before the start of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. The remaining challenges are avoiding injuries, finding the right frontline players, and identifying weaknesses.

The Hwangs will face the China U-24 National Team in a two-legged exhibition match at Zhejiang Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on September 19. In the first match on Sept. 16, the Koreans won 3-1 thanks to a multi-goal performance from Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan Hyundai) and a brace from Jung Woo-young (Freiburg). It was an unexpected result considering China fielded a full roster of wildcards (players over 24 years old), including Gao Tianyi (Beijing Guoan), Badun and Tan Long (Changchun Yatai). It’s also positive to see the first and second stringers from the A team, such as Song Min-kyu (Jeonbuk Hyundai) and Ko Young-joon (Pohang Steelers), perform well.

However, it is a concern that Uhm Won-sang returned home early due to a right ankle ligament injury. Ahn Jae-jun (Bucheon FC 1995) was also ruled out of the squad before departing for China, raising the issue of injury management.

The team also needs to find an owner for the front line. Hwang has been giving the likes of Oh Oh-hoon (Shimizu Esports), Oh Hyun-gyu (Celtic), Chun Sung-hoon (Incheon United), and Park Jae-yong (FC Anyang) a chance between the U-22 and U-24 national teams since last year, but he has yet to find the right person.

As Hwang searches for the right frontline players, he’s also looking at his weakest positions. This is expected to lead to the selection of three wild cards. As was the case with Kim Seung-kyu (Al Shabab), Park Joo-ho (retired), Kim Shin-wook (Kitsch SC), Cho Hyun-woo (Ulsan), Son Heung-min (Tottenham), and Hwang Eui-jo (FC Seoul) during the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang tournaments, utilizing wildcards to supplement weak positions will be a big boost for Hwang.토토사이트

Hwang is still recovering from the shock of being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup last May. Expectations are also high for the future, with the possibility of additional resources such as Lee Kang-in (Mallorca) and Park Kyu-hyun (Dynamo Dresden) being called up to the A team.

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