The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on its official page on Tuesday (Korea time) the 11 players who showed the best performance in the second group match of the 2023 Asian Cup. Players from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain were included, but no Korean players were seen.
After winning 3-1 in the first group match against Bahrain, South Korea beat Jordan to advance to the round of 16 early. Lee Kang-in and Hwang In-beom, who were included in the best 11 of the Asian Cup in the first group match, struggled, but they allowed two goals against Jordan’s counterattack and had to settle for one point with a 2-2 draw.
Korea got off to a good start. Son Heung-min had a penalty kick early in the first half and scored the first goal with a sensational Panenka kick. However, he was shaken by the Jordanian counterattack and Park Yong-woo’s own goal allowed him a point. In the extra time of the first half, he dedicated an additional goal and was taken away, showing an urgent need. Hwang In-beom saved the team from crisis by inducing the opponent’s own goal, but the result was not satisfactory.
The same was true of Japan, which suffered a shocking defeat in its second group match. None of the top 11 players in the second group match of the Asian Cup were included. They scored a last-minute comeback goal against Iraq, but failed to secure a point as they could not overturn the one-goal gap. As Korea cannot advance to the top of its group, if Korea advances to the top of its group, there is a chance that the match between Korea and Japan will take place in the round of 16.