The 2019 U20 World Cup moves into the business end with the semi finals taking place on Tuesday evening (Wednesday Morning Korea Time). South Korea have shocked everyone by progressing to the final four for the first time since 1983! They take on another surprise package in the form of South Americas Ecuador. Few would have predicted this semi final, but here we are.
Here is my quick preview and prediction for the game;
2019 U20 World Cup Semi Final – South Korea vs. Ecuador
(note kick off date/time is Seoul Time, not local date/time)
South Korea U20 vs. Ecuador U20
(Wednesday June 12th – KO 3.30am)
South Korea progressed as group runners-up, then beat firstly Japan (Round of 16), and then Senegal to reach this stage. The win over Senegal was maybe the most impressive as they fought back to score a last minute equalizer and then survived despite missing their first two penalties. Ecuador finished third in their group and squeezed into the knockout stages. However wins over Uruguay and the USA have shown they might be slow starters but could be a fast finishers.
Watch out for Oh Se-Hun (Asan Mugunghwa on loan from Ulsan Hyundai), the forward has been bright so far during the competition and scored against Argentina in the group stages and then the winner against Japan, plus then the winning penalty against Senegal. For Ecuador look out for midfielder Gonzalo Plata, the Sporting Lisbon younger has caught the eye of many watching scouts due to his pace and skill. He has also picked up a couple of goals so far during the tournament.
Prediction: South Korea U20 1-0 Ecuador U20
Overall I’m at the point of not doubting that Korea can find a way to fight on and make it into an historic final. I see a calmer game than against Senegal, with Korea narrowly winning maybe 1-0.
Here are highlights of South Korea’s dramatic quarter final victory over Senegal;
Once again here is the squad for the U20 World Cup (via the KFA).
Coverage will be limited due to the time difference between here and Poland, but I’ll try my best with updates.
Any thoughts, comments or questions. Feel free to comment below or message me via Twitter.