S. Korea beats Ecuador 1-0, reaches U-20 World Cup final for 1st time

2019.06.12 16:01:45

[Photo provided by Korea Football Association]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Korea Football Association]

Young South Korean players have added a new chapter to the country`s soccer history as they reached the championship final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Ecuador.

South Korea and Ukraine will play in a cup final game on Saturday while Ecuador will play Italy in the third place match. The final match kickoff at Lodz Stadium in Lodz is 6 p.m. Saturday local time, and 1 a.m. Sunday in South Korea.

After a tense encounter with Ecuador at Lublin Stadium, South Korea broke the deadlock in the 39th minute when Lee Kang-in played in Jun Choi to finish past Moises Ramirez of Ecuador.

[Photo provided by Korea Football Association]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Korea Football Association]

Valencia CF midfielder Lee Kang-in is the biggest name in the team. South Korean coach Chung Jung-yong flew to Spain earlier this year to convince Valencia to release Lee for the tournament.

It makes the first time for South Korea to play in the final of the premier youth competition. It will be also the country’s first final at a men’s FIFA tournament. South Korea has never finished higher than fourth at the biennial tournament. The country moved on to the semifinals in Mexico in 1983, where they lost to Brazil in the semis and then to Poland in the third-place match to settle for fourth.

By Cho Hyo-sung and Minu Kim

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