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MEN’S BASKETBALL KOREA-JAPAN, WOMEN’S SOCCER NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA ‘BIG MATCH’

With just over a week to go until the opening ceremony, the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games continues with a series of “big matches” in the team ball games. First up is the men’s basketball group stage match between South Korea and Japan at noon at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Japan is ranked 26th in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rankings, while South Korea is 51st.Japan also defeated the likes of Finland and Venezuela at the FIBA World Cup, which concluded earlier this month, to finish 19th in the 32-nation field, the highest ranking for an Asian nation, and booked its ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics. South Korea missed the World Cup qualifiers due to concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).For the Asian Games, however, the Koreans were without many of their World Cup players and fielded a squad of young players in their 20s.Korea, led by head coach Choo Il-seung, had gained experience in their previous matches against Indonesia and Qatar, where players such as Ragan-ah (KCC) and Heo Hoon (Commerce) improved their game .In July, the team played Japan in Seoul and won one and lost one. Next up is the women’s soccer quarterfinal between South Korea and North Korea at 5:30 p.m. at the Wenzhou Sports Center Stadium in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province. While the men’s basketball games between South Korea and Japan are group stage games, meaning that even if they lose, they still have a chance to advance, the women’s soccer game between South Korea and North Korea is a “cliffhanger,” meaning that if they lose, they are eliminated .In the group stage of the tournament, South Korea won three games and North Korea won two to reach the quarterfinals. However, South Korea’s head-to-head record against North Korea’s women’s national soccer team is a dismal 1 win, 3 draws, and 15 losses. The only win came 18 years ago in August 2005 in the East Asian Confederation Cup. South Korea won 1-0 in a match played in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province .Since then, the teams have met 12 times with two draws and 10 losses, with North Korea winning all five games against South Korea at the Asian Games. The winner of this match will play the winner of the match between Chinese Taipei and Uzbekistan in the semifinals. Diving Woo Haram (Korea National Sports Promotion Organization) is the most decorated South Korean athlete at the Games with three silver and five bronze medals at the previous Asian Games. Uharam will look to add to his Asian Games medal haul in the men’s 스포츠토토존 synchronized 3-meter springboard.

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