Hwang Sun-hong’s men’s soccer team faced off against host China in the quarterfinals of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games in front of an estimated 50,000 fans.
The Asian Games men’s football team, led by head coach Hwang Sun-hong, faced China in the quarterfinals of the tournament today at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China.
Playing from the group stage to the round of 16 against Kyrgyzstan in Jinhua, a city outside Hangzhou, it was the first time Hwang had played away from home at the Games.
The 30,000-seat Jinhwa Stadium was the largest venue in the tournament, with only around 19,000 people in attendance for the Korean match.
However, the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium, which hosted the China match, was much larger at around 50,000 seats, and the opponent was the home team, China, so Hwang Sun-hong played the semifinal match in a much different atmosphere.
On National Day, one of China’s biggest celebrations, the stadium was predictably packed.
The stadium hosted the quarterfinal match between Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia five hours before the South Korea-China match, and even that drew nearly 40,000 people.
The Chinese fans, who filled the stadium and even did “waves” even though it wasn’t their country’s game, were naturally many times louder for the Korea-China game that followed.
As the players came out to warm up with about an hour to go before the start of the game, the distinctive Chinese “jiaoyou” cheers began to resonate in earnest. There were also cheers using balloons.
Boos were directed at South Korea.
Boos started during the Korean national anthem, and once the game started, boos erupted every time a Korean player touched the ball.
There were a few Korean fans in the middle of the stands holding Korean flags, but they were mostly drowned out by the outnumbered Chinese fans.
However, two goals by South Korea in the first half put a damper on all of this enthusiasm.
When Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent) opened the scoring for Korea in the 18th minute with a picturesque left-footed free kick, there was silence in the stands, and boos again when his name was called as the scorer.
When Song Min-kyu (Jeonbuk) scored in the 35th minute off an exquisite cross from Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon), the Chinese 토토사이트 fans seemed to have run out of steam, and the booing stopped for a while.
After the stadium erupted when a Chinese player’s header hit the post in first-half stoppage time, the Chinese fans tried to cheer their players on at halftime by lighting up their cell phones to music.
But the Chinese were unable to mount a second-half comeback, and Huang Sunhong held on for a 2-0 victory, easing into what may be their trickiest test of the tournament.