The South Korea Under-17 men’s national soccer team was unlucky to see two shots hit the back of the net in its first group game at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, falling to the United States in the round of 16.
Byun Sung-hwan’s U-17 team fell 1-3 to the United States of America in their Group E match on day three of the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Jakarta International Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday (June 12).
In addition to South Korea and the United States, Group E features four other teams, including global soccer powerhouse France and African continental powerhouse Burkina Faso, who have been dominant at the U-17 World Cup. In the other Group E match prior to the Korea-US match, France defeated Burkina Faso 3-0. South Korea is now tied with Burkina Faso for third place in Group E with one loss, but with a superior goal difference.굿모닝토토 도메인
Korea’s soccer team has made seven appearances at the U-17 World Cup. They reached the quarterfinals in 1987 under Shin Tae-yong and Seo Won-jung, 2009 under Son Heung-min, and most recently in 2019, their highest-ever finish.
South Korea will be aiming to go beyond that and reach the semifinals or final this time around, but the pressure is on for their remaining matches against France and Burkina Faso after an unfavorable first round result.
The tournament features a total of 24 nations, divided into six groups of four. A total of 16 teams will then compete for the championship, including the 12 teams that finish first and second in each group and the four best performers from the top three in each group.
Seo Jung-hyuk (Jeonbuk), Yoo Min-joon (Seongnam), Kang Min-woo (Ulsan), and Bae Sung-ho (Daejeon) formed the back four with Hong Sung-min (Pohang) in goal. Jin Tae-ho (Jeonbuk), Cha Je-hoon (Junggyeong-go), and Baek In-woo (Deokyung-go) filled out the midfield. The front three consisted of Kim Myung-joon (Pohang), Yang Min-hyuk (Gangwon), and Yoon Do-young (Daejeon).
South Korea opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Yoon Do-young unleashed a fantastic right-footed bicycle kick from the right side of the penalty area, but it hit the ground on the opponent’s left post.
The bad luck was quickly capitalized on by the opposition. In the seventh minute of the first half, the U.S. went down a goal. A forward pass from the U.S. bounced off the foot of Kang Min-woo, and the onrushing Nymphasya Berkimas slammed it home to open the Korean goal.
Yang Min-hyuk beat two defenders on the left flank in front of the goal area and tried a mid-range shot that hit the left post with no luck, but Kim Myung-joon scored her first goal of the tournament in the 35th minute to make it 1-1.
Yang Min-hyuk’s powerful mid-range shot from the front was deflected away by the U.S. goalkeeper and the ball landed in front of Kim Myung-joon. Kim calmly slid it in with his right foot and celebrated.
South Korea lost the ball possession battle, but dominated the USA in terms of shots, 14-4, shots on goal, 5-3, and corner kicks, 4-0. It was enough to give the U.S. hope that they could make a comeback in the second half.
However, in the second half, South Korea did a 180-degree turnaround and fell to the Americans.
After conceding a goal to the USA’s Cruz Medina just four minutes into the second half, South Korea took the lead again in the 28th minute when Berkimas slotted home a left-footed mid-range shot from the front of the goal area to make it 3-1.
South Korea will need a point from its remaining two or three games against France and Burkina Faso to reach the round of 16. Accordingly, it is believed that they will have to do their best to get at least a draw against France, which is considered to be a strong team, and then go all-out to win against Burkina Faso.
Meanwhile, among the Asian nations represented alongside South Korea, Iran and Japan had the last laugh. The Iranians pulled off an upset to beat perennial favorites Brazil 3-2 in their Group C opener on Nov. 11. Japan beat Poland 1-0 in their first Group D match on the same day.
Uzbekistan was hammered 0-3 by African powerhouse Mali, while hosts Indonesia drew 1-1 with South American dark horse Ecuador in their Group A opener.