South Korea improved its chances of advancing to the round of 16 at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 by beating ‘big fish’ France.
South Korea, led by head coach Kim Eun-jung, defeated France 2-1 in the first leg of their Group F match at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 at the Mendoza Stadium in Mendoza, Argentina, on Sunday (June 23), thanks to goals from captain Lee Seung-won (Gangwon) and Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon).
It is the first time South Korea has beaten France at the U-20 World Cup. The teams met twice before in 1997 and 2011, losing 2-4 and 1-3, respectively. The all-time series with France is now 2 wins, 3 draws and 4 losses. It was the first win in seven years since May 2016. South Korea continued its momentum toward its best finish since finishing runner-up in Poland in 2019.
Kim Eun-joong lined up with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Lee Young-joon led the front line with Kang Sung-jin (Seoul), Kang Sang-yoon (Jeonbuk) and Kim Yong-hak (Portimonense) in the second line. The center backs were Lee Seung-won and Lee Chan-wook (Gyeongnam). Bae Seo-joon (Daejeon), Kim Ji-soo (Seongnam), Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University), and Park Chang-woo (Jeonbuk) were in charge of the back line, while Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon) wore the goalkeeping gloves.
(First half) France withstood the early offense well → Lee Seung-won scored the first goal after losing possession!
France took the momentum by increasing their ball share. Korea dropped back and focused on defense. Korea tried to attack and took the first shot. In the 10th minute, Lee Young-joon hit a right-footed mid-range shot from behind the arc circle, but it went straight at the goalkeeper.
South Korea was outplayed by France in possession, 20-80%, but scored a valuable goal on a counterattack opportunity. In the 22nd minute, Kim Yong-hak won a contested pass to the center of the opposition half. He saw Lee Seung-won in the center of the field and passed to him. Lee found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and rattled the net with a calm right-footed shot.
South Korea gained confidence after the goal. They used their passing game to equalize with France. France tried to attack aggressively, but Korea defended well to end the first half 1-0. Despite losing the ball possession 29%-61%, Korea managed to play efficiently.
(2nd half) Lee Young-joon scores a fantastic header!
South Korea made a change at the start of the second half, removing Lee Chan-wook and introducing Park Hyun-bin (Incheon). Korea took the first shot of the second half, looking for an additional goal. In the fifth minute of the second half, Kim Yong-hak shook the French defense inside the penalty box and fired a shot that was saved by the goalkeeper.
South Korea avoided an own goal. A cross was cleared off the line by the defense and headed towards the goal, but goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong was there to make the save.
France took the initiative and continued to attack. They took several shots, but they were off target. Korea tried to make a change. In the 14th minute of the second half, they took off Kim Yong-hak and Bae Seo-joon and introduced Lee Ji-han (Freiburg) and Hwang In-taek (Eland).
The Koreans scored another goal to turn the tide. On a free kick in the 19th minute of the second half, Lee Seung-won sent in a cross from the left flank, and Lee Young-joon made it 2-0 with a slightly deflected header.
France, looking for a comeback goal, got one. In the 21st minute of the second half, goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong collided with a striker while trying to block an opponent’s cross, and the referee showed a yellow card and awarded a penalty kick (PK). Birginius converted the PK to tie the score at 1-2.먹튀검증
South Korea took off striker Kang Sung-jin in the 29th minute and introduced Choi Ye-hoon (Busan) to strengthen their defense. With 45 minutes left in the second half, eight minutes of extra time were awarded. France continued to attack, but Korea defended with great concentration until the end, and the final whistle blew.
Meanwhile, the tournament is divided into six groups with a total of 24 nations competing. The first and second place finishers in each group and the four best third-place teams will advance to the round of 16 tournament. The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Indonesia, but due to the local situation, it was moved to Argentina just over a month before kickoff. South Korea will play Honduras in the second round at 6 a.m. on June 26. They will face Gambia in the final.