For Lee Kang-in (22, PSG), the Korea-Japan match has special significance.
Hwang Sun-hong’s South Korean Asian Games team will face Japan 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.
After going undefeated through three group games, the Koreans reached the Round of 16 with wins over Kyrgyzstan, China and Uzbekistan. With just one game left to win the gold medal, their final opponent will be ‘nemesis’ Japan.
Lee was a late addition to the squad due to his club PSG’s UEFA Champions League commitments for the 2023-2024 season, but the tournament has special significance for him.
On June 6, Forbes, a popular economic magazine, reported, “This week, Lee Kang-in will face a striker who plays for Tsukuba University in Japan. This match is the most important match in Lee’s career,” emphasizing its importance.
The French publication and Forbes have made this assessment because of the unique significance of an Asian Games gold medal for Korean athletes. Winning a gold medal at the Games means a special exemption from military service. In fact, seniors who won gold at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games were able to continue their lives in Europe after their military service was resolved. Son Heung-min and Kim Min-jae are two examples.
We asked the players themselves what the Korea-Japan game means to them. “No matter how much I think about it, I feel like there are too many reasons to win, and I’m preparing well with the confidence that I can win unconditionally,” said Seol Young-woo. “I think there are many reasons, but the opponent is Japan. I think that’s enough reason for us to win unconditionally,” he said.
For Lee Kang-in, his last two matches against Korea have been “nightmares”. In March 2021, Lee played in a friendly match between South Korea and Japan in Yokohama, Japan, which ended in a 0-3 defeat, and in June last year, when they met in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan, they lost again, 0-3.
It will be interesting to see if Lee Kang-in, who has been sharpening his blades for revenge, can beat Japan and win the double bonus of military service and gold.바카라사이트