The Korea Herald


S. Korea defeat Japan for 3rd straight men's football gold

By Yonhap

Published : Oct. 7, 2023 - 23:06

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

HANGZHOU, China -- South Korea captured a record third straight Asian Games men's football gold medal Saturday in China, rallying past Japan 2-1 after conceding an early goal.

Midfielder Jeong Woo-yeong scored his tournament-best eighth goal to level the score at 1-1, and forward Cho Young-wook netted the eventual winner in the second half at Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou.

Coached by Hwang Sun-hong, South Korea's under-24 squad went undefeated in the competition, with three wins in the group stage followed by four more victories in the knockouts.

South Korea scored 27 goals and allowed only three.

Japan scored the first goal just around 80 seconds after the kickoff, thanks to some hard pressing. Kein Sato drove deep into the attacking zone and sent a cross toward the middle. The ball bounced off Masato Shigemi before landing on Kotaro Uchino, who made no mistake with a shot to the top shelf.

South Korea had never conceded an opening goal until the gold medal match.

South Korea soon started dictating the pace of the match, and Jeong headed home the equalizer on 27 minutes following Hwang Jae-won's diagonal cross.

Cho then put South Korea ahead for good with his 56th-minute goal, winning the loose ball battle near the penalty spot after Japan failed to clear the ball out of harm's way.

South Korea threatened to add to their lead in the late moments, with Um Won-sang forcing a tough save by goalkeeper Kazuki Fujita on 83 minutes and An Jae-jun nearly putting one past Fujita on a fast break during injury time.