September 22, 2023 10:09
South Korea has secured a spot in the round of 16 of the men's football tournament at the Asian Games in Hangzhou after beating Thailand 4-0 in its second group match in Jinhua, China on Thursday.
Hong Hyun-seok scored the opening goal with a header in the 15th minute. An Jae-jun added a goal five minutes later, and Um Won-sang scored in the 39th minute. Lee Jae-ik scored the fourth goal in first-half stoppage time.
South Korea, which defeated Kuwait 9-0 in its opening match two days earlier, sealed the top spot in its group.
Bahrain is currently sitting in second place in the group with two points after drawing 1-1 with both Thailand and Kuwait. Even if South Korea loses to Bahrain in its third match on Sunday, it will still top the group.
Lee Kang-in of Paris Saint-Germain is expected to play in the third match. He watched Thursday's game from the stands after arriving in Hangzhou earlier in the day.
North Korea is also faring well, sitting at the top of its group with two wins and six points. It defeated Kyrgyzstan 1-0 on Thursday with a goal from Kim Kuk-jin, following its 2-0 victory against Chinese Taipei on Tuesday.
The tournament is North Korea's first international football event in three years and six months, as it sealed its borders during the coronavirus pandemic.
North Korea is followed in its group by Indonesia and Chinese Taipei, which have three points each, but Indonesia has a better goal difference of 1, vs. Chinese Taipei's -1.
South Korea will face whichever team finishes second in North Korea's group after the last match on Sunday.
The Asian Games officially kick off in Hangzhou on Saturday, but some sports' preliminary rounds began early.
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