South Korea’s Chung Woo-young (7)

Runs towards the bench after scoring a goal in the fifth minute of the Asian Games men’s football semifinal

match against Uzbekistan at the Huanglong Sports Center in Hangzhou, China, on Thursday.

South Korea is one step away from a third straight Asian Games title.

South Korea’s men’s soccer team won their Asian Games men’s soccer semifinal against Uzbekistan 2-1 on

Thursday thanks to a brace from Jung Woo-young (24) at the Huanglong Sports Center in Hangzhou, China. They

will play Japan, who beat Hong Kong 4-0 the same day, in the final on Sunday at the Huanglong Sports Center.

Japan was the final opponent at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang tournament. South Korea won the gold medal with a 2-1 overtime victory.

Their semifinal opponents, Uzbekistan, are a tough nut to crack. Uzbekistan had a better international record at

the Asian Games than the senior national team, winning the U-23 Asian Cup in 2018, finishing fourth in 2020 and

runner-up in 2022. South Korea met Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals of the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games five

years ago, winning a hard-fought 4-3 victory in extra time.

This time around, Uzbekistan, who were in Group C, automatically qualified for the round of 16 after fellow group

members Afghanistan and Syria withdrew from the tournament. Coming into the tournament with a lot of

momentum, Uzbekistan defeated Indonesia (1-0) in the round of 16 and Saudi Arabia (2-1) in the quarterfinals to

reach the Asian Games quarterfinals for the first time in 29 years since winning the 1994 Hiroshima Games.

South Korea’s “spear,”

Which had scored a whopping 23 goals in their previous five games, was sharp again. South Korea earned a free kick on the right side of the attacking zone in the third minute of the first half, with kicker Lee Kang-in (22) passing to Hong Hyun-seok (24) in the center of the field instead of toward the goal. Hong then passed to Uhm Won-sang (24), who was penetrating the penalty box, and the ball found its way to Jung Woo-young, who was rushing toward the goal. Just five minutes into the game, Jung found the back of the Uzbek net with his right foot.

Jung Woo-young (left)

Celebrates scoring his second goal of the tournament in the 38th minute with the score tied 1-1. With seven goals at the Hangzhou Asian Games, Jung has become the tournament’s top scorer.

But the joy of the equalizer was short-lived. South Korea scored 12 minutes later in the 38th minute of the first half to take a 2-1 lead. Lee Kang-in in midfield played a long pass to Baek Seung-ho (26) on the left flank, who used his head to redirect the ball inside the penalty area. The ball found its way to the front of the goal as Uzbek defenders and South Korean players scrambled, and Jung Woo-young, who was in front of the goal, took advantage of the opportunity and slotted it home with his right foot. With his seventh goal of the tournament, Jung Woo-young became the tournament’s leading scorer.

South Korea played with a numerical advantage after Uzbek midfielder Buriev Abdullauf, 21, was sent off in the 30th minute for accumulating cautions. Uzbekistan pushed hard for an equalizer, but Korea’s energy in the attacking third dulled Uzbekistan’s day in the 39th minute when Cho Young-wook’s right-footed mid-range shot struck the top of the Uzbek goal. 스포츠토토맨

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