South Korea could make history tonight, by lifting the U20 World Cup

Photo: KFA

South Korea have so far had an excellent U20 World Cup campaign, which can clearly be seen by the fact they will compete the final against Ukraine tonight in Poland. 

Korea navigate way out of tough group

South Korea were placed in a difficult group for the U20 World Cup, when the draw was made I feared the worst for them, and thought they might not get through the group they had been handed. Placed with Argentina, Portugal and South Africa, this would mean that Korea would need to take points of one of the big boys in the group if they had any desire to make it to the next round.

Korean fans may have thought I was right to fear the worst after their first game, a 1-0 defeat against Portugal, but they pulled a rabbit out of the hat in their last group game against Argentina by defeating them 2-1. Sandwiched between those two results was a tetchy 1-0 victory over the South Africans, and on the basis of those two victories, South Korea went through to the last round of 16, as runners up to Argentina. This meant they sent the much fancied Portugese back home with their tails between their legs.

A last 16 tie with local rivals, Japan and their route to the final

Coming out of the group as runners up, set up a tantalizing local derby against Japan. Both teams will have known everything they needed to about the other, and both sides are often very evenly matched, so everyone knew it would be a close game.

This time round was no different, it ended 1-0 to South Korea with Asan Mugunghwa's Oh Se-hun nodding in the winner. The South Korean party train rumbled on into the quarter finals, where they would meet Senegal. Any African team is difficult opposition, so South Korea knew they would be in for another tough game.

The game with Senegal ended 3-3 after extra time, with the Senegalese scoring a last minute equalizer to drag the game into penalties. South Korea managed to hold their nerve despite the last minute set-back and win the shootout 3-2, with  Oh Se-hun scoring the deciding penalty, showing how valuable he has been in this run.

That win led Korea to a semi final tie against Ecuador, another tough match ensured with Korea coming out as 1-0 winners. This win put Korea into the final against Ukraine, whichever side wins the match will make history, as it will be the first time either has won this competition. We are on the side of the Koreans though, so we are hoping they can do the business tonight.

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