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South Korea to face Ukraine in FIFA U-20 World Cup final

South Korea to face Ukraine in FIFA U-20 World Cup final

Posted June. 13, 2019 07:48,   

Updated June. 13, 2019 07:48


South Korea will face Ukraine in the final match at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland at 1:00 a.m. (Korean time) on Sunday. Based on an outstanding offense-defense balance of scoring 10 goals and allowing three in six previous matches at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Ukraine had two wins and one tie in the Group D league and three wins without extra time in the Group of 16 tournament.

Boasting big physique, Ukraine has been applying pressure soccer tactics by using the 5-3-1 formation that hardly allows space for the opponents to break through from the midfield to the defensive line. In addition, Ukraine had a head start by scoring first at every game. In the semifinal match against Italy, Ukraine was able to grab the ticket to the final, as even striker Danylo Sikan joined the pressure in a cautious tactics before Serhii Buletsa scored the winning goal in the 65th minute.

Ukraine’s offense centers on crosses from rapid counterstrikes and set pieces taking advantage of players’ high statures. Denys Popov, a key defender who is 186 centimeters tall, highlighted such offensive routes, scoring three goals. After his scoring two consecutive headed goals in the first two Group league matches, foreign media said that Popov’s head lead Ukraine to the tournaments.

However, Ukraine is currently in a state of emergency, as Popov cannot play in the final because he received two yellows cards in the match against Italy. Italy scored after he left the field, although the goal was canceled by a video assistant referee. Popov’s absence will likely be a big loss for Ukraine and a weak point to attack for South Korea.

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com