Two nations appear to have advanced to the round of 16 in soccer at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. After Afghanistan and Syria withdrew from Group C, fellow group members Uzbekistan and Hong Kong advanced to the round of 16.
“After Afghanistan and Syria withdrew, fellow group members Uzbekistan and Hong Kong advanced to the round of 16 at the 텍사스홀덤 Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games,” Chinese media outlet Gibo 8 reported on Aug. 18 (KST).
Uzbekistan and Hong Kong were drawn in Group C of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games alongside Afghanistan and Syria. The first game was scheduled to be between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, followed by Hong Kong and Syria in game two, Syria and Uzbekistan in game three, Afghanistan and Hong Kong in game four, and finally Uzbekistan and Hong Kong, Syria and Afghanistan in game five.
However, the situation seems to have changed. “Uzbekistan and Hong Kong are in the same group, while Syria and Afghanistan have withdrawn from the tournament,” the outlet reported.
“After the two countries withdrew from Asian Games football, the organizers and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) technical officials held a hastily arranged meeting and decided to stick to the rule that the top two finishers in the group will go straight to the round of 16 without any rule changes,” the media outlet said.
The tournament will feature the two first- and second-place teams from each group (12 teams in total) and the four best performers from the third-place groups, meaning that the two remaining teams from Group C, which already has two teams eliminated, are headed to the round of 16.
“Uzbekistan and Hong Kong are in the round of 16 earlier than expected,” the outlet added.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Asian Games team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, was placed in Group E alongside Kuwait, Thailand, and Bahrain. Hwang’s side will open their campaign against Kuwait on Sept. 19, followed by Thailand on Sept. 21 and Bahrain on Sept. 24.