“I wasn’t too shaken up by the early goal. I just thought about what I had to do.”
This is what ‘goal hero’ Cho Young-wook (24, Gimcheon Sangmu) said after leading Korea to the Asian Games title.
The South Korean Asian Games football team, led by Hwang Sun-hong (55), defeated Japan 2-1 in the final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.
With the victory, Korea won its first three consecutive Asian Games titles and sixth overall, joining Incheon 2014 and Jakarta-Palembang 2018.
After starting the second half 1-1, it was frontline striker Cho Young-wook who took matters into his own hands. In the 11th minute of the second half, Hwang Jae-won drove the ball into the box, and when Jung Woo-young fell, the ball fell to Cho Young-wook. He made no mistake and scored.
If Cho wins the gold medal, he will be discharged early. Before the law was changed, athletes who served in the military were not entitled to military benefits. The law has since been amended to allow athletes who are currently serving in the military to receive military service benefits if they win a gold medal at the Asian Games or a medal at the Olympics.
Hwang In-beom, who was serving his military service as a police officer in Asan Mugunghwa, was also discharged early after winning a gold medal at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games.
“I’m still a soldier because I didn’t report for discharge,” he said after the game, adding, “I think I did what I had to do. (Looking back at the goal), I thought I had one good chance. So I was thinking a lot about how to move. (Chung) Woo-young fought well, so I was able to get a good chance. It was a tense moment and I tried to stay calm. I’m happy that the goal came and that it led to the win.”
South Korea conceded before the second minute of the first half. It was a bad start. But Cho said he wasn’t rattled at all.
“Honestly, I didn’t think, ‘We’re in trouble,'” he said. I thought, ‘We can do it’ if we play a little more calmly. Not only me, but the whole team was on the same page, so we weren’t too shaken by the early goal. I just thought about what I had to do,” he said.
Barring a possible wildcard in the future, this will be the last tournament for the 24-year-old as a member of the age-group national team. 메이저사이트
“No matter how I think about it, it’s today,” he said of his most memorable match, “I’m happy to finish well. Coach Hwang Sun-hong put a lot of faith in me, and I’m glad I was able to repay him,” he said encouragingly.
“Before the Japan match, he told the players, ‘Don’t doubt. If we do what we’re doing, we’ll win,’ he said. He didn’t make us anxious, and that was definitely a positive. That’s why we were able to get up quickly after conceding a goal.”