Pressure a motivating factor for Korea Republic, says Hwang

Hwang In-beom feels the pressure on Korea Republic ahead of their AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ semi-final clash with Jordan will only serve as extra motivation for the team.

Having beaten Saudi Arabia and Australia to reach the last four and with 44 places separating Korea and Jordan in the FIFA World Ranking, expectations have heightened that a first AFC Asian Cup title since 1960 awaits the Taegeuk Warriors .

“History is there to be changed,” said the midfielder. “If you say Korea can’t win this tournament because we conceded eight goals, we will prove you wrong. Yes, we conceded a lot of goals but don’t forget that we also scored a lot.

“Pressure is always on, not just for this tournament. For a professional footballer, we have to live with pressure. But it’s a privilege to live with pressure, something only pro athletes go through. 

“We have to trust the players, the staff and the coach. We have to trust the fans. We have to believe that we can do it. We want to enjoy the pressure and move closer to our goal.”

Hwang has been an ever-present figure in Jurgen Klinsmann’s selection, starting in every single match and with one goal and one assist so far.

However, the 27-year-old – who plays his club football in Serbia with FK Crvena Zvezda – was culpable for the mistake that led to Australia taking their lead in their quarter-final on Friday.

“What I feel the most thankful for is that I don’t play individual sports. Anyone can make mistakes and I’m thankful to have my teammates.

“Without them I won’t be here today and not be able to go through the tournament. Sometimes when you make a mistake, you don’t see it because of your teammates and their support.

“Tomorrow, some of the boys might make mistakes or an off day, then it’s my turn to help my teammates. Hopefully, this drama that we’re writing at the moment, we can have a happy ending.”

BY: Nadeem Faisal Baiga