“Without Hwang Sun-hong” U-23 Team Wins WAFF Championship After Penalty Shootout

March 27, 2024 | by

While head coach Hwang Sun-hong was away for a while, the U-23 national soccer team won the 2024 Western Asian Football Federation (WAFF) U-23 Championship after a penalty shootout.

South Korea’s U-23 national team won the tournament 4-3 on the 27th (Korea time) with goalkeeper Kim Jung-hoon’s consecutive saves in the penalty shootout after a 2-2 tie with Australia in the 90 minutes of the first and second half in the final match at Al Fate Stadium in Al Mubaraj, Saudi Arabia.

This tournament is a prelude to the 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup, which will be held in Qatar from the 15th of next month as well as the Asian qualifying round for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Eight countries, including Australia, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates, participated, starting with South Korea, which aims to advance to the Olympic finals for the 10th consecutive time.

Hwang Sun-hong, the head coach of the U-23 national team, was away as an interim coach of the A team to lead the second round of Asian qualifiers for the 2026 North-Central America World Cup against Thailand as the “Hwang Sun-hong Team Without Hwang Sun-hong,” but the players united to produce a valuable result of winning Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

South Korea was unable to join the final as Bae Joon-ho, who plays for Stoke City in the second division of England, returned early at the request of his team.

South Korea was pulled in the 11th minute after losing the first goal to Australia’s Alou Kuol.

Kueol lightly kicked the cutback pass from the right side of Jacob Italiano in the penalty area in front of the net.

South Korea struck a balance in the 26th minute of the first half.

Cho Hyun-taek (Kimcheon) crossed from the left side, and Lee Young-joon (Kimcheon) of the gate shook the net exactly to the head.

South Korea, which finished the first half 1-1, induced its opponent’s pass mistake in the 17th minute of the second half to score an upset goal. 고수익알바

Lee Kang-hee (Gyeongnam) stole the ball from the opposing side, and Kang Sung-jin (Seoul) took over and split the goal with a strong left-footed shot near the penalty line.

South Korea allowed Australia’s Kuol to score again 10 minutes later, allowing a tie, and both teams failed to score additional points until the end of the second half.

In the penalty shootout, which began with Australia’s lead, South Korea’s goalkeeper Kim Jung-hoon’s brilliant defense shone.

With the two teams’ No. 1 to No. 3 kickers shaking the net side by side, Kim Jung-hoon read the direction of Australia’s fourth kicker Jake Holman’s shot and accurately blocked it.

South Korea’s fourth kicker, Signing Officer (Bucheon), succeeded neatly, and Kim Jung-hoon later blocked Australia’s fifth kicker Garang Kuol’s shot, confirming South Korea’s victory.

At the awards ceremony that followed, Korea enjoyed the joy of winning the championship, with Byun Jun-su (Gwangju) and Kang Sung-jin lifting the trophy overhead.


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