Korea finished the 2023 U-20 World Cup in fourth place after losing 3-1 to Israel in the third-place playoff at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata in La Plata, Argentina on Sunday.
The young Taeguk Warriors failed to redeem themselves in their final game of the World Cup after losing 2-1 to Italy in the semifinals three days earlier.
Both Korea and Israel left some of their regular starters on the bench after a particularly grueling week of games, but those players that did make it on to the pitch still approached the playoff as seriously as any of the earlier games.
Ran Binyamin opened the scoring in the 19th minute in style with a volley inside the penalty box, scoring his first goal in the tournament.
Korea responded quickly, with Lee Seung-won scoring an equalizer five minutes later with a penalty.
The second half saw more action with Israel creating more goal-scoring opportunities.
Israel’s attacks persisted and Omer Senior scored the team’s second goal in the 76th minute with another volley right in front of goal.
Anan Khalaili then scored No. 3 in the 85th minute, sealing Israel’s 3-1 victory and the country’s first-ever third-place finish.
Korea’s performance was unimpressive both on attack and defense, with the young Taeguk Warriors recording only one shot, while allowing four shots on target and conceding three goals.
This is the second time Korea has finished the World Cup in fourth place after the 1983 tournament.
Korea’s best finish was runners-up in the 2019 tournament, when the squad led by Golden Ball winner Lee Kang-in lost 3-1 to Ukraine in the final.
Lee Seung-won, who scored his third goal of the tournament against Israel, surpassed Lee Kang-in’s goal contribution stats in the 2019 World Cup — two goals and four assists — with three goals and four assists.
He received the Bronze Ball in the end as the third-best player of the competition.
Those stats also made Lee Seung-won the only other Korean player to record four assists in any FIFA event.
“We prepared for this tournament for a year and half, but I did not think that our players would do this well,” Lee Seung-won said after the third-place match. “I think not only me, but all the players learned a lot through this World Cup. This will act as a chance to improve more.”
Lee Seung-won’s presence was clear especially in set-pieces, as his four assists came from three corners and one free-kick.
Korea’s run at the tournament was still impressive, as the young Taeguk Warriors beat favorite France 2-1 in the group stage, before advancing to the knockout stage with two draws — a 2-2 draw with Honduras and a goalless draw with the Gambia.
The team was also cohesive in the 메이저사이트 knockout stage, despite having far less possession and far fewer chances created than their opponents.
They managed to beat Ecuador 3-2 in the round of 16 with 30 percent ball possession and earned a 1-0 victory against Nigeria in the quarterfinals despite having recorded three shots — 13 shots less than Nigeria.
Israel’s run was also astonishing, considering it was their first time competing in the World Cup. Their success included the elimination of Asian Cup champions Uzbekistan in the round of 16 and five-time champions Brazil in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Uruguay who knocked Israel out in the semifinals, were crowned as the U-20 World Cup champions for the first time ever with a 1-0 victory over Italy in the final that took place shortly after the third-place match.