(Asian Games) S. Korea ready for any team in semis: football coach

August 27, 2018

BEKASI, Indonesia, Aug. 27 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s under-23 football coach, Kim Hak-bum, said Monday his side will be ready to take on any team in their semifinal at the 18th Asian Games.

South Korea joined the last four of the men’s football tournament after beating Uzbekistan 4-3 in extra time at Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium in Bekasi, east of Jakarta. South Korea are now two matches away from defending their Asiad men’s football title.

Hwang Ui-jo was the hero of the night as he scored a hat trick and earned a penalty in the second period of extra time, which was later converted by Hwang Hee-chan.

South Korea will next face the winners of the match between Vietnam and Syria in the semifinal that will be played at Pakansari Stadium in Cinibong, west of Jakarata, on Wednesday.

South Korea under-23 football head coach Kim Hak-bum gives direction to his players during the men's football quarterfinal match against Uzbeksitan at Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium in Bekasi, east of Jakarta, on Aug. 27, 2018. (Yonhap)

South Korea under-23 football head coach Kim Hak-bum gives direction to his players during the men’s football quarterfinal match against Uzbeksitan at Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium in Bekasi, east of Jakarta, on Aug. 27, 2018. (Yonhap)

“Whichever team becomes our opponent, we’ll prepare for the match with a beginner’s mindset,” Kim said at a post-match press conference.

Vietnam are led by South Korean coach Park Hang-seo, who has earned national hero status there after leading Vietnam’s under-23 to the runners-up finish at the AFC U-23 Championship in January.

“Park really made Vietnam an interesting team,” he said. “They play a very stable game. It’s going to be very interesting (if we meet them in the semis).”

With their No. 1 goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo on the bench due to a knee injury, South Korea sent Song Bum-keun to wear the gloves against Uzbekistan. But South Korea conceded three goals, giving themselves a tough match.

At this Asian Games, South Korea haven’t surrendered a single goal with Jo, who joined the team as a wild card member, along with Son Heung-min and Hwang Ui-jo.

But Kim said he trusts his players.

“I believe in our players and they believe in me,” he said. “Whether it’s Jo or Song, I’m sure they’ll do well.”

 

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