The future of Korean soccer has reached the round of 16.
The South Korea U-20 football team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong, drew 0-0 with “surprise team” The Gambia in their third Group F match at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Mendoza Stadium in Argentina on Monday (June 29).
With one win and two draws in the group, including the draw against the Gambia, South Korea finished second in Group F with five points and advanced to the Round of 16. This is their third straight round of 16 appearance.
The Gambia, a country of less than 2.5 million people on the west coast of Africa, made a surprise upset of Honduras and France in their first two group games.
With a spot in the round of 16 secured before the game, Kim Eun-joong used a partial rotation that excluded goalkeepers Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon Commerce), Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University), and Park Seung-ho (Incheon United). Only four of them started against Honduras (Game 2).
Although there were no goals, the tense flow continued throughout the match. South Korea opened the offense in the 11th minute with a shot from Kang Sung-jin, but the first half ended without any more shots. The Gambia threatened twice more. In the second half, Kang Sung-jin also attempted a shot, but it was blocked by the goalkeeper.
In the 12th minute of the second half, Kang Sung-jin threatened again. However, Kang’s left-footed shot was blocked by the goalkeeper.
Coach Kim Eun-joong introduced Bae Jun-ho and Kim Yong-hak in the 12th minute of the second half to increase the level of offense. In the 26th minute, he also brought on Lee Seung-jun, who had a shot on goal that was blocked by the goalkeeper. The Gambia, who boasted a spicy flavor of African soccer, also went home without a goal.토토사이트
While the team didn’t get the win they were hoping for, they did manage to stay healthy and avoid Brazil in the round of 16. They used a partial rotation to keep key players fresh, and as they finished second in their group, they will face Ecuador instead of Brazil in the round of 16. It’s a satisfying result for a team that hopes to do more than make the round of 16.