‘Hwang Sun-hong Ho’s secret weapon’ In-joo Kyu wildcard is realistic…variable is Ulsan’s early win

A challenge for South Korea’s soccer team as it attempts to win a third straight title at the Hangzhou Asian Games is the lack of a target man.

With Hwang Sun-hong, 55, at the helm, the tournament is capped at 24 years of age, but the talent pool in that position is not bad.

National goalkeepers Oh Hyun-kyu (22) and Oh Se-hoon (24-Shimizu), who lifted three trophies in half a year with Celtic in Scotland, are among those eligible for selection. 메이저사이트

The problem is that they have already completed their military service with the Korean Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Sangsang), so it’s hard to say if their clubs will allow them to participate in the Asian Games. The Asian Games are not organized by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and require the permission of the clubs.

Hwang, who knows this better than anyone, has been diligently contacting clubs, but has yet to draw a positive conclusion.

While another member of the Asian Games soccer team, Cheon Sung-hoon (23, Incheon), has come back from injury, there are calls for a Plan B with a wild card. The Asian Games can field up to three players over the age of 24 as wildcards, and the idea is to use one for a frontline striker.

Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham) and Hwang Eui-jo (31, Seoul), who were part of South Korea’s gold medal-winning team at Jakarta-Palembang five years ago, are prime examples.

Hwang has also submitted a preliminary roster (50 players) after considering wildcard candidates, and the name of Lee In-gyu (33-Ulsan) has been floating around. “I understand that coach Hwang visited Daegu FC at their home game on the 24th and had a personal discussion with them,” said an Ulsan official.

Hwang is one of the best in the K League when it comes to goal-scoring. In 2021, he scored 22 goals for Jeju United, becoming the first Korean player in five years to become the top scorer in the K League 1. He tied for the most goals (17) with Cho Kyu-sung in 2022, but fell six games short of winning the title.

This year, after switching to the Ulsan Hyundai jersey, he is tied for the top scorer with 10 goals.

Although he has already completed his military service, the honor of representing his country is enough to motivate him. Not only does he not yet have an A-match record, but he also has no experience with the age-group national team. He has been called up to the national team in recent years, but hasn’t gotten a call-up, so he’s thirsty for a spot.

However, there are still a lot of mountains to climb if he wants to make it to the Asian Games. September, the month of the Asian Games, is the last month of the regular K League 1 season. Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo has a close relationship with Hwang, but it’s not easy for him to send his main gun, along with other Asian Games-age players like Uhm Won-sang, to the Asian Games.

He also left the decision to participate in the Asian Games to the club. He told reporters, “It’s true that there was communication regarding the Asian Games, but the club has all the decisions. If there is a place for me to play, I will always do my best,” he said.

The way for Inhabigyu to travel to Hangzhou with ease is for Ulsan to win early. Ulsan has a commanding lead with 47 points from 19 matches in the first half of the season. If they follow in the footsteps of Jeonbuk Hyundai in 2018, who accumulated the same number of points at this point and won the title with six games remaining, everyone will have something to smile about.

“It’s important for Ulsan to continue to accumulate points in July,” said Kim Dae-gil, a sports commentator, “and it could make or break Hwang’s job depending on Ulsan’s performance.”


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