Hwang Ui-jo sidelined again as Olympiacos season resumes

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Hwang Ui-jo sidelined again as Olympiacos season resumes

Hwang Ui-jo  [NEWS1]

Hwang Ui-jo [NEWS1]

The 2022 Qatar World Cup failed to provide Hwang Ui-jo with the opportunity to turn things around he so desperately needed, with the Olympiacos striker excluded from the squad for the sixth consecutive game as the Greek Super League resumed Wednesday.
Hwang, who has seen things go from bad to worse since he was shipped off to Greece in the summer, wasn't able to change his fortunes in Qatar. Rather than stepping up for the national team like he has in the past — he scored a screamer against Brazil in a friendly six months ago —  Hwang fluffed a crucial shot in the opening game against Uruguay and spent the vast majority of the next three games warming the bench.
That missed shot against Uruguay was the most visible thing Hwang did all tournament — former Liverpool midfielder and pundit called it “awful” on the BBC — and he only saw a combined 30 minutes of playing time over the following three games. He had no involvement in any goals, a serious problem when you typically play as the national team’s sole striker.
So Hwang arrives back in Greece possibly in an even worse position than when he left.
After making a slow start to his career in Greece, the striker has been entirely excluded from the Olympiacos squad for the last six Super League games, and has only played more than 11 minutes in three league matches this season.
In the Europa League he has seen more success, appearing in every game this season until Olympiacos was knocked out in November.
He has not scored a single goal in all competitions and has just one assist in a league game on Sept. 3. Considering that he spent the last two seasons as Bordeaux’s top scorer in the French Ligue 1, Hwang’s form has taken an exceptionally steep dive and, at 30, it’s difficult to imagine how many opportunities he is going to get to bounce back.
National squad and Olympiacos teammate Hwang In-beom, however, was in the squad for the Super League game on Wednesday, playing 81 minutes before he was subbed out for Marcelo Vieira.
Olympiacos drew 2-2 with PAS Giannina, with Greek winger Kostas Fortounis scoring both goals for the Attica club.
Olympiacos will be back in action on Wednesday Dec. 28 for a league game against Asteras Tripolis. If recent evidence is anything to go by, it looks unlikely that Hwang Ui-jo will get a spot in the team for that game.

BY JIM BULLEY [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]
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