‘Disappointing 51 minutes’ as South Korea finish 0-1 down despite numerical advantage
The Little Taeguk Warriors were light on their feet as they toppled ‘favorite’ France.
South Korea went into halftime trailing 0-1 despite numerical superiority in their second Group F match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 against Honduras at the Mendoza Stadium in Mendoza, Argentina on Saturday (June 26). Two video assistant referees (VARs) were heaven and hell. Kim Eun-Joong-ho was awarded a penalty on the first VAR, giving Korea the lead. In the second VAR, an opponent was sent off, but the team failed to open the scoring until six minutes of first-half stoppage time.
Another upset occurred in the Gambia’s match against France in the same group. After defeating Honduras in the first round, the Gambia came from behind to defeat France 2-1 and advance to the round of 16 with two straight wins. France’s second straight loss puts them at the bottom of the group.
With France’s loss, South Korea only needed to beat Honduras to secure a spot in the round of 16. But in the first half, they couldn’t break through.
Coach Kim Eun-joong went with a 4-4-2 system. Compared to France, he made one change. Lee Chan-wook was replaced by Bae Jun-ho. With Lee Young-joon and Kang Sang-yoon at the top, the midfield was lined up with Kang Sung-jin, Lee Seung-won, Bae Jun-ho, and Kim Yong-hak. In the back four, Bae Seo-joon, Kim Ji-soo, Choi Seok-hyun, and Park Chang-woo. Kim Jun-hong was in goal.
Coach Kim elevated the lineup. Honduras caught a break in the 10th minute of the first half. Marco Aseituno went down. He twisted his right ankle while catching the ball. He played another seven minutes before being replaced by Daniel Carter.
Honduras had the call overturned. Carter earned a penalty kick as soon as he came on. He collided with Choi Seok-hyun on the right side of the goal area. The referee didn’t call a foul, but after a video assistant referee (VAR) review, a penalty kick was awarded. David Ochoa stepped up to take the penalty. Kim Jun-hong turned and touched the ball, but it went in.
Honduras’ jubilation was short-lived. Three minutes later, Ochoa hit Bae Seo-joon during a ball contest. The referee pulled out a yellow card, but the VAR referee once again restrained him. After the VAR, the referee showed Ochoa a red card instead of canceling the warning. Ochoa had the misfortune of joining the Garinsha Club (leaving after scoring a goal).
With their numerical advantage, South Korea pushed hard for an equalizer. But the Honduran wall down the line was high. The players’ bodies also looked heavy. Their steps were heavy as they made more mistakes. In the 32nd minute, they almost conceded another goal 안전놀이터.
Still, the Taeguk Warriors held the key. In the 42nd minute, Kim Yong-hak’s powerful left-footed shot was blocked by the goalkeeper. Kim Yong-hak tried to find the back of the net in stoppage time, but he was unable to find the back of the net, and that was how the first half ended.