South Korea’s Kim Eun-Joong-ho is on track to reach the round of 16 at the U-20 World Cup.
The South Korea U-20 national soccer team, led by head coach Kim Eun-jung, drew 2-2 with Honduras in their Group F match at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Mendoza, Argentina, on Saturday.
Contrary to expectations, Korea struggled against Honduras.
Korea fell behind to a penalty kick goal from David Ochoa in the 22nd minute and another from Isaac Castillo six minutes into the second half. Luckily for Korea, Ochoa was sent off in the 27th minute of the first half. With the numerical advantage, Korea pushed forward and secured a dramatic draw with consecutive goals by Kim Yong-hak (Jeonbuk) in the 13th minute and Park Seung-ho (Incheon) in the 17th minute.
The draw puts Korea in second place in the group (4-1 W, 3 D) behind Gambia (6-2 W).
Korea’s progression to the round of 16 will be determined by the outcome of their third group game against The Gambia at 6 a.m. on Sept. 29.
South Korea needs at least a draw against the Gambia to qualify for the round of 16 on their own. If they win, they will finish first in their group, and if they draw, they will finish second in their group and board the train to the round of 16.
The “what if” scenario is that Korea loses to the Gambia.
In that case, we would have 1 win, 1 draw, 1 loss, and 4 points, and our position would be determined by the outcome of the Honduras-France match. The best case scenario here is that Honduras and France tie, or France defeats Honduras. In this case, even if South Korea loses to the Gambia, they would still advance to the round of 16 as the second best team in the group.
If Honduras defeats France, it gets complicated. If Honduras and Korea tie for first place with one win, one draw, and one loss, then goal difference and aggregate goals scored will be considered. If Korea loses to Honduras on goal difference or aggregate goals scored, it will finish third in the group, which means it will have to finish in the top four out of six teams to qualify for the round of 16.
So far, South Korea’s chances of reaching the round of 16 are quite high.
In the last five editions of the 토토사이트 tournament between 2011 and 2019, the only team to fail to reach the round of 16 after winning four points was Portugal in 2019.
It’s also a good thing that Gambia will likely not be at full strength when they face South Korea, as they are coming off a 2-1 win over France to secure a spot in the round of 16.
However, two of their main players, defender Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University) and goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon), will not be able to play against the Gambia due to accumulated cautions.
After the game, Coach Kim said, “We had the numerical advantage, but it was difficult to score because they were all down (in defense). We had some good chances, but we weren’t calm enough,” Kim said. “We need to give more than 100 percent against Gambia. We will have two days to recover and prepare at our best.”