By Jung Seung-woo] Lee Kang-in joined the South Korean Asian Games soccer squad on Nov. 21. Now the focus is on when he will make his first appearance.
The South Korean Asian Games team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, cruised to a 4-0 victory over Thailand in their second Group E match of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Jinhua, China, at 8:30 p.m. (KST) on Wednesday.
With the win, Korea followed up their 9-0 victory over Kuwait on Sept. 19 with a win and six points to advance to the Round of 16. Even if they lose to Bahrain in the third round, they will still finish first in the group with five points and Korea with six.
Along with the joy of reaching the round of 16, there was more good news. Lee “Ace” Kang-in made it safely into the squad.
It was an arduous journey. Lee boarded a plane in the early hours of the morning on the 20th, right after his club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) played Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League group stage match, and headed straight to Incheon International Airport.
From Incheon, Lee boarded another flight to Hangzhou, arriving in Hangzhou at noon local time on the 21st, and with little time to catch his breath, he headed to Jinhua, about 140 kilometers from Hangzhou.
Once in Jinhua, he was busy. According to the testimony of his “roommate” Lee Jae-ik, upon arrival, Lee unpacked, showered, changed clothes, and boarded a bus with the team to the stadium.
Before the game started, Lee warmed up on the grass with his teammates. He headed to the bench relatively early compared to the other players, but he touched the ball, stretched, and checked his physical condition. Afterward, Lee sat side-by-side with head coach Hwang Sun-hong and chatted with him.
After watching the game from the stands, Lee approached the players at the end of the game and celebrated with them.
Lee looked tired as he yawned and rubbed his eyes. After the game, Lee was the first to walk through the mix zone and the first to board the team bus.
Coach Hwang Sun-hong is cautious about using Lee Kang-in. Hwang, who said on the 16th that he would be cautious in deciding when to play Lee, saying, “I’ll take a closer look at his physical condition and other things,” said at the post-match press conference on the 21st, “It’s hard to say at this stage whether Lee will play or not. We need to look at his physical condition and fitness before deciding whether or not to play him.” He remained cautious.
Having won both the first and second matches to clinch first place in the group, Hwang sees no reason to rush Lee into action against Bahrain in the third match.
Therefore, it’s possible that Lee could make his first appearance in the Round of 16. It’s possible that Lee could be used as a substitute in the third game to test the waters briefly, but the round of 16 is likely to be the best time for him to make his debut.
The winner of Group E, South Korea, will face the second-place finisher from Group F in the round of 16 on Nov. 27, while North Korea, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei, and Kyrgyzstan will compete in Group F.
After two rounds of play, North Korea is the top seed in Group F. North Korea defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0 in the first round and Kyrgyzstan 1-0 in the second round, with Kim Kook-jin scoring the winning goal. In second and third place are Indonesia and Chinese Taipei, both with one win and one loss, and at the bottom of the table is Kyrgyzstan, which is winless.카지노사이트
With six points, North Korea is through to the round of 16. North Korea is currently in first place, but could finish second depending on the outcome of their final group game. If they finish second, they will have to play a “North-South War” against South Korea in the Round of 16, which means Lee Kang-in’s first opponent could be North Korea.
South Korea will face Bahrain at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Jinhua, China, while North Korea will face Indonesia at 5 p.m. on Thursday at the Zhejiang Normal University East Stadium in Jinhua.