Coach Hwang Seon-hong (55) hopes that ‘golden talent’ Lee Kang-in (22, PSG) will join the team before the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games. This is the best scenario. However, the worst-case scenario in which Lee Kang-in does not participate in the Asian Games group stage is increasingly becoming a reality.
Coach Hwang Seon-hong said the word “frustrating” several times during an interview with reporters held at the Paju National Team Training Center (NFC) on the 14th. There are only four days left until the first match of the Asian Games, and it is unknown when team ace Lee Kang-in will join the national team. Coach Hwang Seon-hong said, “Lee Kang-in wants to join as soon as possible, but the timing of his joining does not seem to be coordinated with his team, PSG. I find it frustrating.”
The national team will play its first Asian Games group stage match against Kuwait on the 19th. They will face Thailand on the 21st and Bahrain on the 24th. All three games will be held at Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Zhejiang, China. Objectively, it is true that Korea has the most advanced military power. However, all three opposing teams have power that cannot be ignored. If Lee Kang-in joins, it will be a great help.
It would be nice to know at least when Lee Kang-in will join, but since even this is uncertain, Director Hwang Seon-hong’s heart cannot help but burn even more. We need to think about various situations, such as when Lee Kang-in is playing and when he is not playing, and come up with a strategy. Currently, it is not easy to plan tactics in advance according to the opponent. The issue of chemistry between Lee Kang-in and his national team colleagues is also an issue to consider. Coach Hwang Seon-hong said, “I hope Lee Kang-in can play 1-2 group stage games before entering the tournament.
In the end, Lee Kang-in’s joining was delayed and we had to prepare for the ‘worst case scenario’ of not playing in the group stage. After completing the international break, PSG will re-enter the league schedule against OGC Nice on the 16th. According to coach Hwang Seon-hong, Lee Kang-in will not play against Nice due to recovering his condition. Lee Kang-in suffered a left thigh injury last month. He has almost recovered, but PSG is unlikely to use him too much.
However, from PSG’s perspective, the next games are more important. 스포츠토토PSG will face Dortmund (Germany) in the first leg of the European Champions League group stage on the 20th and ‘rival’ Marseille in the 6th round of the league on the 25th. There is a possibility that Lee Kang-in will play in both of these games and head to the Asian Games.
If that happens, Lee Kang-in can join from the Asian Games round of 16 tournament. Even this is not easy to participate in the game. Unlike the players he played with in Changwon, Paju, etc., Lee Kang-in does not have enough time to keep up with his pace. Considering the PSG game and travel time, I am also worried about Lee Kang-in’s condition. The round of 16 schedule begins on the 27th. This means that Lee Kang-in can be utilized properly only in the quarterfinals.
Since the Asian Games and Olympics are not competitions organized by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), there is no obligation for teams to be selected. Therefore, Lee Kang-in also needs permission from his team, PSG.
It is reported that PSG is planning to discuss sending Lee Kang-in to the Asian Games until he joins the Qatar Asian Cup in January next year. However, the Asian Cup is the domain of coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team A. Coach Hwang Seon-hong emphasized, “I think we need to have a lot of discussions with Coach Klinsmann,” and added, “We’ve had that experience in the past. We’re trying to put PSG in an advantageous position in many ways.”
In addition, coach Hwang Seon-hong said, “PSG is putting forward various conditions. I hope that the agreement goes well and he joins early rather than late.”