Caretaker coach optimistic about Korea’s future after World Cup qualifier victory

Korean players celebrate their 3-0 win over Thailand in the teams' Group C match in the second round of the Asian World Cup qualification tournament at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, March 26. Yonhap

With his work as caretaker boss for Korea finished with a win over Thailand in a World Cup qualifier Tuesday night in Bangkok, Hwang Sun-hong said he sees a bright future for the senior men’s national team.In Hwang’s second and final match as interim coach, Korea beat Thailand 3-0 in their Group C match in the second round of the Asian qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Lee Jae-sung, Son Heung-min and Park Jin-seop had a goal apiece at Rajamangala Stadium.Korea, ranked 22nd, were held to a 1-1 draw by 101st-ranked Thailand last Thursday in Seoul, and had a nice bounceback performance away from home.”Thailand deserve respect. But as we were preparing for this match, we tried to find our own balance and rhythm, rather than worry about our opponent,” Hwang said. “I think we came away with such a good result because we executed our plans. And I think the national team will get better from here.”

Hwang coaches the under-23 men’s team trying to qualify for the Paris Olympics this summer. But the Korea Football Association (KFA) appointed Hwang as the temporary coach for the senior side in these two March matches after it fired Jurgen Klinsmann in light of Korea’s failure to win the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup last month. Instead of rushing to find a full-time replacement for Klinsmann, the KFA asked Hwang to hold the fort for a couple of weeks. “This was a difficult match, and the players came together as one and had a great desire to pull out this win,” Hwang said. “We couldn’t have won this match without the players’ drive and determination.”

Hwang said his short tenure was fraught with challenges, including playing the first match after just one day of training with the whole team and trying to get players coming in from Europe on the same page with those based in Korea.”These players all have talent, and the key was to make them feel comfortable on the pitch,” Hwang said. “I am grateful for all the hard work put in by the players, coaches and national team staff.”Hwang can now turn to his day job, with the AFC U-23 Asian Cup, which doubles as the Asian Olympic qualification, kicking off on April 15 in Qatar. The top three teams from that event will punch their tickets to Paris.”I feel like I still have long ways to go as coach. I am just trying to do the best I can,” Hwang said. “I will now put an end to my work with the senior team and rejoin the U-23 team. I will try to bring home good results from the Olympic qualifying 메이저 tournament.” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *