‘Goodbye Japan, we’ll sacrifice you for our first title in 21 years and third overall!
South Korea’s U-17 men’s soccer team, led by Byun Sung-hwan, has reached the final and will face fierce rivals Japan in the final leg of their quest for their first title in 21 years.
The South Korean U-17s defeated Uzbekistan 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-17 Asian Cup 2023 at Pathum Thani Stadium in Thailand on Monday afternoon (July 29), thanks to a free-kick from Baek In-woo in the 31st minute. South Korea, who booked their ticket to the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a 4-1 win over Thailand in the quarterfinals, will play defending champions Japan in the final on July 2 at 9 p.m. at the same venue.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup will be held in Indonesia in November. Korea has already qualified for the World Cup, which is awarded to the fourth-place finisher at the Asian Cup, by reaching the quarterfinals. Now they just need to lift the trophy to prove they are the best in Asia. 안전놀이터
Japan advanced to the final with a 3-0 win over Iran in the other quarterfinal match. If South Korea defeats Japan in the final, they will win their third Asian title in 21 years. South Korea has won the tournament twice (1986-2002), which began in 1985.
South Korea last won the tournament in 2002 under Yun Deok-yeo, who led the team to a 4-0 thrashing of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals and a penalty shootout victory over Yemen to reach the final. After a 20-year absence from the tournament, the South Korean U-17 team is determined to raise the profile of Korean soccer once again, following the U-20 Kim Eun-Joong-ho’s quarterfinal feat that stunned the world in early June.
In particular, South Korea has scored 15 goals and conceded four in their five games at the tournament, and have a more stable offensive and defensive balance than Japan. They scored 10 goals and conceded three in the group stage, including a 4-1 win over Thailand in the quarterfinals and a 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan in the semifinals. Japan has scored 19 goals and conceded six in the tournament. They scored 13 goals and conceded five in group play, winning 3-1 against Australia in the quarterfinals and 3-0 against Iran in the semifinals. 안전놀이터추천
In five games, South Korea has scored an average of three goals and conceded 0.8 goals per game, while Japan has scored 3.8 goals and conceded 1.2 goals per game. Japan has a slight advantage in scoring, while Korea has the edge in defense. In terms of offensive and defensive balance, South Korea has the edge. The fateful match between Korea and Japan will be decided not only by their performance, but also by the mental strength of their players.
The competition for the top goal scorer will also be interesting as Kim Myung-joon and Yoon Do-young both have four goals apiece for Korea, while Japan’s Kohei Mochizuka has four goals. Japan, who won the 2018 tournament with a 1-0 victory over Tajikistan, will be looking for their second straight title and fourth overall. Japan has won the tournament three times (1994, 2006, 2018).