Let’s start our coverage of the Hangzhou Asian Games with the men’s soccer team, who defeated home team China to reach the quarterfinals and face Uzbekistan in the semifinals. They’re two wins away from a third straight gold medal, and the Uzbeks are no pushovers.

Coach Hwang Sun-hong played a “surprise card” against China by starting Hong Hyun-seok and Song Min-gyu with Lee Kang-in, Jung Woo-young, and Uhm Won-sang as substitutes, which seemed like a sure thing, and it paid off.

In the 18th minute, Hong Hyun-seok scored the first goal with an exquisite free kick, and Song Min-gyu added another in the 35th minute.

In the second half, we substituted Lee Kang-in, Jung Woo-young, and Uhm Won-sang to continue to control the game, and our team won 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals.

[Hong Hyun-seok/Men’s National Soccer Team Midfielder: I usually never kick it, but I felt something, so I told (back) Seung-ho, ‘I’ll kick it,’ so I kicked it, and the trajectory got a little better….]

Their semifinal opponents are Uzbekistan, who beat Saudi Arabia.스포츠토토

Uzbekistan, whose national team has always been strong in the early 20s, were runners-up at last year’s U23 Asian Cup, where we were knocked out in the quarterfinals, and are unbeaten in four matches.

We met Uzbekistan five years ago in the quarterfinals in Jakarta, where we won 4-3 in extra time.

[Hwang Sun-hong/Men’s National Football Team Head Coach: We must never let our guard down, and we will take a cautious approach so that we can definitely win the quarterfinal and go to the final].

North Korea, which lost to Japan and was eliminated in the quarterfinals, came under fire for unsportsmanlike conduct by some of its players.

Defender Kim Yoo-sung was warned for asking for water and raising his fist in a threatening gesture to a Japanese staff member who came in during a brief stoppage in play, while players unhappy with a call after the match were frowned upon for crossing the line, even shoving the referee in a violent protest.

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