It was a ‘disappointing draw’ that failed to capitalise on numerical superiority as the ‘Little Taeguk Warriors’ crossed the sixth ridge into the round of 16 for the third consecutive tournament.안전놀이터
South Korea failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage and drew 2-2 with Honduras in their second Group F match at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Mendoza Stadium in Mendoza, Argentina on 26 June (local time). The 1-1 draw (4 points) leaves South Korea second in Group F behind Gambia (2 wins and 6 points).
However, they have secured at least third place in the group. The tournament features 24 teams divided into six groups of four, with the round of 16 consisting of the 12 best-placed teams from each group and the four best-placed teams from the third place group. Teams with a 1-1 draw will qualify for the round of 16 as ‘wild cards’.
The first half was dominated by two video assistant referees (VARs). Kim Eun-joong-ho was awarded a penalty on the first VAR, giving Korea the lead. On the second VAR, the opponent was sent off. The second half also started off badly. They conceded the second goal first.
Then Korea came back. Kim Yong-hak and Park Seung-ho scored a relay goal, but it was two points short of a comeback.
Coach Kim Eun-joong opted for 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 in the top two, 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.
Kim made the line-up even better. Honduras caught a break in the 10th minute. Marco Aseituno went down. He twisted his right ankle while catching the ball. He was replaced by Daniel Carter after playing another seven minutes to allow time for substitutions.
Honduras had the call overturned. Carter earned a penalty kick as soon as he came on. He collided with Choi Seok-hyun as he drove into the right side of the goal area. The referee did not call a foul, but a penalty was awarded after VAR. Kicker David Ochoa stepped up to take the penalty. Kim Jun-hong got a touch on the ball, but it went in.
Honduras’ jubilation was short-lived. Three minutes later, Ochoa hit Bae Seo-joon in a contest for the ball. The referee pointed to the yellow card, but the VAR referee once again restrained him. After the VAR, the referee showed Ochoa a red card instead of cancelling the warning. Ochoa had the disgrace of joining the Garinsha Club (leaving after scoring a goal).
South Korea used their numerical advantage to push for an equaliser. But the Honduran wall down the line was high. The players’ bodies also looked heavy. They were making mistakes and their steps were heavy. In the 32nd minute, they almost conceded another goal.
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 also had a shot on target in the second half stoppage time, but was unable to find the back of the net.
Kim took off Bae Seo-joon and brought on Choi Ye-hoon at the start of the second half, and it was all onslaught. Kang Sung-jin had a shot on target two minutes into the second half after outrunning the opposition defence, but it was blocked.
However, they conceded a second goal in the sixth minute of the second half on a counter-attack. Isaac Castillo’s routine mid-range shot from Carter’s pass hit Kim Jun-hong and went straight into the net. Kim had raised expectations with a number of saves against France, but not on this day.
Kim freshened things up in the eighth minute of the second half, bringing on Cho Young-kwang and Park Seung-ho for Bae Jun-ho and Park Chang-woo, and the long-awaited goal came in the 13th minute. Kim Yong-hak opened the scoring with a left-footed shot from a ball from Lee Young-joon.
Once the Honduran goal was open, there was nothing left to play for. Four minutes later, the equaliser came. Lee Seung-ho found the back of the net with a header from a Lee Seung-won corner kick. However, Park Seung-ho had to be replaced by Lee Seung-jun two minutes later due to injury.
The pressure continued. However, they were not so lucky as they hit the crossbar in the 40th minute. In the second half of stoppage time, Lee Young-joon’s shot was also blocked by the goalkeeper. In the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, Choi Seok-hyun was sent off for two bookable offences, ruining any chance of an upset.
Earlier in the day, the Gambia and France in the same group had another upset. After defeating Honduras in the first round, the Gambia came from behind to beat France 2-1 and book their place in the round of 16 with a second straight win. A second consecutive defeat leaves France at the bottom of the group.