The young Taeguk Warriors flopped on the ground as soon as the match against Portugal came to an end. Yet, with no intention of giving up, they resolved to play better at the upcoming second match. “I told fellow players not to hang their head,” said Cho Young-wook (20, FC Seoul), a forward of South Korea’s national team for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. “We still have two more games.”
South Korea lost to Portugal 1-0 in their opening match of Group F of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, on Sunday. Portugal, which won the 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, boasted a ball possession rate of 61 percent during the entire game. Trincao’s goal in the seventh minute led Portugal to a victory.
At this year’s U-20 World Cup, the top two countries from each group, as well as the four best third-place teams, will advance to the round of 16. South Korea, currently in third place of Group F, will face South Africa on Wednesday. In previous matches against South Africa, the young Taeguk Warriors had a win and a draw.
On the same day, South Africa revealed its weakness in a set piece play. Central defenders, who are 181.5 centimeters tall on average, failed to keep the ball possession, and let speedy opponents successfully pass the ball. South Korea may have to consider including Oh Se-hoon, a forward with a tall stature, and Um Won-sang, a speedy striker, in the starting lineup. “The height of Oh Se-hoon and the speed of Um Won-sang started to generate offense in the second half,” said Han Jun-hee, a commentator at KBS. “A lineup for an upcoming match against South Africa should be focused on offense.”
Yun-Cheol Jeong firstname.lastname@example.org