There’s a reason why coach Hwang Sun-hong says he’s “desperate for support” after winning his third consecutive Asian Games title and turning his attention to the Paris Olympics. ‘Rival’ Japan is already preparing for away trials. Uzbekistan is also preparing “quietly and strongly”.토토사이트
In preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Japan’s U-22 soccer team will face Mexico on Sept. 15 and the United States on Sept. 18 at Phoenix Rising FC Stadium in Arizona, USA.
Eight days after finishing second at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, Japan’s head coach Oiwa Ko will travel to the United States.
On July 7, Oiwa’s Japanese Olympic team met Hwang Sun-hong’s U-24 national team in the final of the Hangzhou Asian Games, losing 1-2. They finished as runners-up.
However, rather than lamenting their second-place finish behind South Korea, Japan is taking heart from the fact that they performed well on the Asian stage for the second year in a row. They hope to use this as a springboard for further growth. Their ultimate goal is to qualify for the Paris Olympics next year.
Japan’s Olympic team finished third at the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan last year. It was an accomplishment that exceeded expectations, as Japan competed in the tournament with a team made up of U-21 resources.
The reason why Oiwa chose to field a U-21 team was because the Paris Olympics in two years’ time will have an age limit of U-23.
This is the same reason Japan fielded U-22 players at the Asian Games. Despite finishing as runners-up to South Korea, Japan’s cohesion was often cited as an advantage in the lead-up to the tournament, as they have been able to build up to the event with an eye on the long term.
The men’s football final match between South Korea and Japan at the ’19th Hangzhou Asian Games’ was held at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Oct. 7. Japanese players celebrate before the match.
Less than 10 days after the Asian Games wrapped up, Ko Oiwa traveled to the United States to lead an evaluation match. For Japan, which has set its sights on qualifying for the Paris Olympics, the Asian Cup-Asian Games is just another step in the process.
Japan failed to win a medal at the last Olympics, Tokyo 2020, which was held in Anbang. They were knocked out in the quarterfinals before losing in the third-place playoff to Mexico to finish fourth. Japan’s goal for the upcoming Paris Olympics is to win at least a bronze medal.
Under Oiwa’s leadership since 2021, Japan’s Olympic team has been traveling extensively to international tournaments and competing in trials.
After finishing third at last year’s Asian Cup, Japan went straight to Europe. After finishing the tournament in mid-June, the team traveled to Spain and Italy in September, where they faced Switzerland (1-2 loss) and Italy (1-1 draw). In November, the team played European friendlies against Spain (0-2 loss) and Portugal (1-2 win) in Spain to test the team’s strength. The team also played away trials in March (Germany, Belgium) and June (England, Netherlands) this year.
The European trials were made possible by the JFA’s full acceptance of Oiwa’s wishes. After finishing third at the Asian Cup, Oiwa expressed his desire to “strengthen the team by playing against high quality opponents in Europe.” Just three months later, Japan’s Olympic team headed straight to Europe.
The men’s football final match between South Korea and Japan at the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games was held at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday. Japan’s coach Oiwa Ko looks at the pitch before the match.
After qualifying for the Asian Games, Japan will immediately fly to the United States for a two-game October exhibition series against Mexico and the United States. These tournaments were scheduled before the start of the Asian Games. The JFA’s full support for Oiwa and Ko is evident in their preparations for the Paris Olympics.
“For this overseas trip, 23 players, excluding those who played in the Asian Games, were called up,” the JFA said, “and after returning home the day after the Korean War (on the 8th), Oiwa headed straight to the United States.” It’s a clear indication that Japan is keeping a tight rein on its split Olympic squad.
Japan has also been careful to pick its exhibition opponents. ‘Last year’s bronze medalist’ Mexico lost its Olympic bid for the first time since 2008, but the ‘return match’ is a hotly anticipated one. The United States has a chance to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in 16 years. With morale high, the U.S. could not be a better test for Japan.
In addition, the Japan Football Association has already finalized a November exhibition schedule for the Olympic team. Argentina will come to Japan. Then, in December, it will give Oiwa some time to train for the call-ups. The schedule is already full this year.
[Photo: Korea Football Association
On the other hand, the Korean Football Association’s (KFA) timeline for Hwang Sun-hong, who won the Asian Games gold medal against Japan and raised hopes of a favorable Paris Olympics, is still up in the air.
Hwang is desperate for support. “The KFA, the Korean Professional Football Association, should help us prepare well for the (Paris) Olympics,” he said in an interview on his return from Hangzhou on Aug. 8. Japan and Uzbekistan have been preparing (for the Olympics) for almost three years. We have only been called up a few times. The future is uncertain,” he said, adding, “We have to prepare hard from now on. I ask for your support,” he reiterated.
Specifically, he said, “During the (professional) winter training period in January, the Olympic team should be able to train for two to three weeks. That’s the only way to be competitive. If they don’t have that opportunity, it could be very difficult in the future.”
Compared to Japan and Uzbekistan, Hwang’s demands are very basic.
Uzbekistan, a recent Asian powerhouse, made the unusual decision to allow their “commander-in-chief,” Timur Kapadze, to take on a “dual role” as head coach of their professional team in 2021 with the Paris Olympics in mind. Kapaje will spend the season with the professional team, evaluating players and promoting those who perform well to the national team. “This decision was made specifically for the 2024 Olympic project,” Uzbekistan Football Association press secretary Devron Faiziyev told OSEN. Coach Kapadze will be able to see the players up close and personal.”
Against all odds, Hwang Sun-hong has won the gold medal.The South Korean Asian Games football team, led by Hwang Sun-hong (55), won 2-1 against Japan in the final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday, starting at 9 p.m. (local time).South Korean players congratulate Hwang Sun-hong after winning the gold medal.
Hwang Sun-hong overcame the negativity surrounding him to become the first South Korean coach to win three consecutive Asian Games gold medals. He made the best of a situation where even basic support was not available. The KFA should have been proactive and resolved the issue of overseas players’ borrowing in advance, but it was not until the last minute that noise was heard.
Hwang will need to finish in the top three at the AFC U-23 Asian Cup in Qatar next April to earn a direct ticket to the Olympics. It is the first gateway to Paris. Japan has already raised the anchor.