For South Korea’s U-24 national team, choosing China as the venue for an exhibition match in preparation for the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games in September is a win-win. However, China’s deep-rooted black history of Shaolin soccer has made South Korea a scapegoat.
Hwang Sun-hong’s U-24 national soccer team played China’s Asian Games team in an exhibition match at Jinhua Stadium in Zhejiang province, China, at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15, winning 3-1. The second leg will be held at the same venue on Sept. 19 at 8:35 p.m.
Men’s soccer matches at the Hangzhou Asian Games will be played at eight stadiums in six cities. Jinhua Stadium is one of them.
On the 12th of this month, before departing for China, head coach Hwang Sun-hong said, “We decided to hold the trial in China because we needed to adapt to the local conditions. I also wanted to get a feel for the atmosphere, and I think it will be a good outpost.”
However, the name ‘China’ alone raised some concerns. It would be advantageous for South Korea to play a trial against a country one level higher, but very few teams have a U-24 team. Hwang decided that China was better than Southeast Asia, so he headed to China.
Since the opponent was China, there were naturally voices of concern that there might be a scapegoat for ‘Shaolin soccer’. Even if the team was careful, they had to be careful throughout the game because it was not something they could control.
In the end, what they feared happened. Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan Hyundai), who played a ‘multi-goal’ game in the first leg, returned home early due to injury.
After a 0-0 first half, South Korea brought on Uhm in the second half, and the substitution paid off. In the sixth minute of the second half, Uhm Won-sang took a long pass from the back and scored a “sensational shot” with her toes. 안전놀이터
Uhm Won-sang added a second goal. In the ninth minute of the second half, Jung Ho-yeon (Gwangju FC) finished with his left foot from a long pass. South Korea made it 3-0 in the 16th minute when Jung Woo-young (Freiburg) scored on a winding kick. Three minutes later, Hwang Sun-hong (Seoul FC) had a goal disallowed after he crossed the line but the whistle didn’t blow, sealing the two-goal victory.
Uhm Won-sang was injured in the second 20 minutes. She fell during a contest and rolled her ankle with a Chinese player. The Chinese player’s torso connected with her leg and she was treated off the field, but she was not allowed back on the field.
“I hope it’s not a serious injury,” Huang said after the game.