Reached the Semifinals for the First Time in History [sports]

[Asian Games] Reached the Semifinals for the First Time in History Despite Losing All 2 Group Matches... Hong Kong Football Sensation

Coach Andersen, who took the helm of K-League Incheon in 2018, becomes the head coach.

The 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games men's soccer semifinal match will be held between Korea-Uzbekistan and Japan-Hong Kong.

The average soccer fan might wonder, ‘Hong Kong in the semifinals?’

Hong Kong is ranked 148th in the FIFA world rankings, and this is because the team has not achieved remarkable results in Asian competitions. 먹튀검증가이드

What's even more surprising is that Hong Kong defeated Asian powerhouse Iran 1-0 in the quarterfinals.

Iran is ranked 21st in the FIFA rankings, the second highest ranking country in Asia after Japan (19th).

Of course, because there is an age limit for men's soccer in the Asian Games (under 24 for this tournament), it is difficult to say that the world ranking and power of the adult national team are strictly proportional, but in any case, Hong Kong's defeat of Iran and advancement to the semifinals was an unexpected result.

But this is not all that is surprising.

The ‘mystery’ is that Hong Kong advanced to the semifinals despite losing all two games in the group stage of this tournament.

The story is like this.

Hong Kong was placed in Group C of the tournament's group stage and was scheduled to compete with Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Syria.

However, with Afghanistan and Syria suddenly not participating, only Uzbekistan and Hong Kong remained in Group C.

The tournament organizing committee decided not to reorganize the groups and decided that Group C would be played with Uzbekistan and Hong Kong facing each other twice.

In addition, Group C was given the de facto 'preference' of allowing both Uzbekistan and Hong Kong to advance to the round of 16 regardless of the result of the game.

In the other group, the four teams fought fiercely from the group stage to be in the top two, but Uzbekistan and Hong Kong had already confirmed their advancement to the round of 16 and played two games comfortably as practice.

Hong Kong lost 0-1 and 1-2 in both matches against Uzbekistan, but reached the round of 16.

Then, among the countries that advanced to the round of 16, they faced Palestine, ranked 2nd in Group D, who were relatively weak, and won 1-0 to join the quarterfinals.

Hong Kong, who literally 'luckily' advanced to the quarterfinals, was expected to have difficulty overcoming Iran's wall, but they even surpassed Iran and advanced to the semifinals.

This is the first time that Hong Kong has advanced to the semifinals in men's soccer since the first Asian Games in 1951, and it has been 65 years since the quarterfinals in 1958.

The Hong Kong coach is Jern Andersen (Norway), who served as North Korea's head coach from 2016 to 2018 and took command of K-League's Incheon in 2018.
Coach Jern Andersen said ahead of the semifinal against Japan on the 4th, "Japan has a lot of talented players," and added, "But if we compete a little stronger, we will be able to get a chance against Japan, which has many relatively young players." .

While Hong Kong used all three wild cards, Japan selected the national team from those born in 2001 without anyone born in 2000 for this tournament.

Those born in 1999 can participate in men's soccer at the Asian Games.

The winner of the Hong Kong-Japan match will meet the winner of the Korea-Uzbekistan match in the final.
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