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‘Top scorer’ Jung Woo-young: “Locker room dance party, Song Min-kyu, then me”
Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), who won his third consecutive men’s soccer title at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games and finished as the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals, conveyed the post-tournament locker room atmosphere in a playful voice.
The South Korea U-24 soccer team, led by head coach Hwang Sun-hong, returned to South Korea via Incheon International Airport on Monday afternoon.
Jung Woo-young scored eight goals in the tournament, including a celestial equalizer in the men’s soccer final at Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, in the 27th minute of the first leg, when he headed in a cross from Hwang Jae-won (Daegu) from the left side of the goal to give Korea its third straight title.
“It’s a great experience as a player to win the title and be the top scorer at the same time, and I want to thank my coach, staff, and teammates for their support behind the scenes,” Jung said.
For Jung, scoring the game-tying goal in the final was his most memorable moment.
“It was the first time we conceded a goal in this tournament, so it was tough, but the team had a strong belief that we could do it,” he said, adding, “I think it gave them a little bit of strength to score a goal in a situation where they were so desperate.”
After winning the gold medal, Jung was granted a special exemption from military service, paving the way for a more stable career on the European stage.
“I was just so happy to win the gold medal,” he said. I didn’t really think about the exemption, I just felt good,” he said, avoiding direct comment, but he couldn’t hide his smile.
Jung, who wore the No. 7 shirt at the tournament, will join national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s call-up training at the Paju National Training Center (NFC) on Sept. 9.
“As long as you have (Son) Heung-min (Tottenham), it’s impossible to be ‘No. 7’ on the A team,” Jung laughed, then said, “The weight of the number was a bit of a burden, but I was encouraged and played a good game.”
He also shared the excitement in the locker room after the win.
“Song Min-kyu danced the hardest,” said Jung Woo-young, referring to him as the ‘hardest dancer’.
“After that, I danced a lot, and I think I expressed the joy of the moment,” he said, echoing the team’s high spirits.
Hwang Jae-won, the tying goal duo in the final, was also proud of his performance.
Born in 2002, Hwang was the youngest member of the squad alongside Lee Han-beom (Meatwillan), and he showed off his ‘golden boy’ side as he was deeply involved in both the equalizer and the game-winning goal in the final.
Hwang Jae-won assisted Jung Woo-young’s equalizing header with a cross in the 27th minute of the first half, and then in the 11th minute of the second half, he boldly overlapped from near the halfway line and sent a pass into the box that found its way past Jung Woo-young and into the path of Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon), setting the stage for the game-winning goal.
“In a way, I was responsible for the first goal against Japan, so I had a lot of pressure on me,” said Hwang Jae-won. “I was very fortunate that I was able to assist on the first goal. For the second goal, I dribbled in from the back and I’m glad that I was able to score in the end,” he smiled.
Hwang Jae-won, who played in all six games except for the third group stage match against Bahrain, said, “People around me were worried about my physical fitness,” but he also boasted of his youthful stamina, saying, “I’m still young, and if I eat well and rest well, I’ll recover quickly.”
Hwang Jae-won will now return to his club Daegu FC to help them compete in the standings, but he also has his sights set on higher goals as a player.
Daegu drew 2-2 with 10th-ranked Suwon FC (31 points) at home in the 33rd round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 on Sunday to secure a spot in Final A in fifth place (49 points).
“First of all, my job is to do my best for the team, and I think that if I work hard for the team, good opportunities will come later,” said Hwang Jae-won. “I still have a lot of time left in my career, so I won’t rest on my laurels, but I will work harder and develop towards my next goal.”
Captain Baek Seung-ho (Jeonbuk), who brought the team together throughout the seven games from the group stage to the final and successfully completed the golden journey, expressed his gratitude to the team’s supporters in China and Korea.
“I would also like to congratulate my coaches and coaching staff who helped me achieve my goal,” he said. “I would also like to congratulate my teammates who struggled and enjoyed every day for a month and achieved their goal.” 슬롯사이트