Hwang fights back against 50,000 cheering fans

Hwang Sun-hong battled against the cheers of around 50,000 spectators during the men’s football quarter-final against hosts China at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.

The Asian Games football team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, faced China in the quarter-finals at the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou, China, today.

Hwang, who played all of his games from the group stage to the round of 16 against Kyrgyzstan in Jinhua on the outskirts of Hangzhou, played on the road for the first time in the tournament.

The 30,000-capacity Jinhua Stadium had only seen around 19,000 people in attendance during the South Korea match.

However, the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium, which hosted the China match, is much larger at around 50,000 seats, and the opponent was the home team, so it was a different atmosphere for Hwang as he fought for a place in the semi-finals.

On the day of the National Day, one of China’s biggest celebrations, the Kowloon Sports Centre was predictably packed.

The stadium hosted the quarter-final between Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia five hours before the Korea-China match, and even that drew nearly 40,000 people.

The Chinese fans, who filled the stadium and even ‘waved’ when it wasn’t their country’s game, were understandably many times louder for the Korea-China match that followed.

As the players came out to warm up with about an hour to go, the distinctive Chinese “jiaoyou” (加油) chants began to resonate in earnest. There were also cheers using balloons.

Boos were directed at Korea.

The boos started when the Korean national anthem was played during the national anthems of both teams, and after 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 largely drowned out by the outnumbered Chinese fans.

However, two goals from South Korea in the first half doused the fervour.

When Hong Hyun-seok (Hent) opened the scoring with a picturesque left-footed free-kick in the 18th minute, there was silence in the stands, and boos again when his name was called as the scorer.

When Song Min-kyu (Jeonbuk) scored a second goal after an exquisite cross from Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon) in the 35th minute, the Chinese fans seemed to have run out of steam and the booing stopped for a while. 스포츠토토

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