AFC U23 Round-Up

The AFC Under 23 cup will reach its climax tomorrow with no team from East Asia making the final. However, it’s been a great tournament for one South Korean Park Hang-seo as he led Vietnam to the final. Sparking some extraordinary scenes back home in Vietnam with around a million people on the streets celebrating.

Back to the East Asian teams, South Korea where the best of the lot only losing out on a place in the final in extra time.

South Korea started the group very well with a win and followed this up with a goalless draw at Syria. They then got out of the group by beating one of the bigger nations in Asian Football Australia. After this, they got to the semi-final with a last minute winner over Malaysia.

In the semi-final, they faced a very well organised Uzbekistan side that had already put 4 past Japan. South Korea where a much tougher test however and took them to extra time drawing 1-1 in normal time. They could not hold out in extra time however after going down to 10 men in the 90 minutes and went out to a 4-1 defeat in the end.

South Korea had many players who had good tournaments but one that does stand out their centre-back Hyeon-su Hwang (pictured) who captained them in their quarter-final triumph over Malaysia.

The 22-year-old maybe playing at this age group for the last time and plays for FC Seoul in the K League 1. He’s played 14 times for his club and is sure will look to improve on that. Standing at 6 feet tall the player has all the attributes to do well in the game.

Looking back overall you would say South Korea was the biggest success from East Asia over in China for the Asian Under 23 Championship. They will, however, feel they very well could have made the final. The Uzbekistan manager coming out and saying they had to produce their best performance shows that also. Had South Korea not gone down to ten men late on in the 90 minutes it could also have been a very different story.

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