The Republic of Korea U-20 soccer team, led by coach Kim Eun-joong, reached the stage of the round of 16.
The 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which is being held in Argentina, will have a total of 24 countries divided into six groups to play the group stage. The 4 teams with the best grades among the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each group compete for the championship in a round of 16 tournament.안전놀이터
Korea, which belongs to Group F, overcame strong France in the first match of the group stage. Lee Seung-won (Gangwon FC) and Lee Yeong-joon (Kim Chun Sang-mu) each scored a goal in the counterattack and set play. He conceded a penalty due to an uncertain decision, but kept the 2-1 victory.
Having won 3 points, Korea faced Honduras with confidence. Unexpectedly, Korea struggled. After conceding a goal through a penalty, the opponent was sent off to gain a numerical advantage. However, they gave up one more goal early in the second half, and the defeat was dark.
Korea did not give up. Kim Yong-hak (Portimonense) signaled the pursuit, and Park Seung-ho (Incheon United) even scored an equalizer. Although they failed to come from behind, they gained a valuable point and gained an advantage in advancing to the round of 16.
In the end, the victory over France and one point against Honduras came back as a result of an early confirmation of the round of 16. Of the four groups that played all three matches, only New Zealand (4 points) in Group A and Nigeria (6 points) scored more than 4 points. Group B 3rd place Slovakia (3 points) and Group C 3rd place Japan (3 points) lost side by side. With only two changes remaining, Korea (4 points), which secured at least 3rd place in the group, was also confirmed to advance to the round of 16.
Starting with the round of 16 in the 2017 tournament as the host country, Korea has advanced to the round of 16 in three consecutive tournaments following the 2019 runner-up myth. In addition, except for 2015, when they failed to advance to the finals in the last 7 tournaments, they all stepped on the tournament stage.
The momentum continues even after expanding the scope to the national team at each level. Starting with the runner-up at the 2019 U-20 World Cup in Poland, the quarterfinals at the 2019 Brazil U-17 World Cup, the quarterfinals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, and the quarterfinals at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the challenge for this tournament is currently ongoing. It is a feat of advancing to five consecutive tournaments hosted by FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Coach Kim expressed his determination to do his best no matter which team he meets, saying, “The round of 16 matchups do not go as you want just because you want to meet a certain team,” through the Korea Football Association.