South Korea’s U-17 men’s national team, led by head coach Byun Sung-hwan, will need to pull off a miracle at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Byun is set to face Burkina Faso in the third match of Group E at the U-17 World Cup on June 18 at 9 p.m. ET at the Jalan Jak Harupat Stadium in Bandung, Indonesia.레모나토토
Byun Sung-Hwan-ho, who had previously expressed his ambition to reach the quarterfinals of the U-17 World Cup, the highest finish in South Korea’s history, before the tournament began, is now in a precarious position after suffering back-to-back defeats in the first and second rounds of the group stage.
South Korea fell behind against their first-round opponents, the United States, in the seventh minute of the first leg, but Kim Myung-joon equalized in the 35th minute. However, they surrendered the lead to the Americans in the second half, conceding back-to-back goals to Cruz Medina in the fourth minute and Berkimas in the 28th minute.
Before the match, Byun said, “We play a similar style of soccer. I think the result of the match will show which team is the higher quality team. Our team is ready. We will play an aggressive game according to the concept we have been working on,” but the team was hampered by two bad lucky shots on goal and a significant drop in performance in the second half.
Against France, they were unable to secure a point. In the first two minutes of the game, Mathis Amougou rattled the Korean net with a mid-range shot. South Korea continued to push France in an effort to recover from the early goal. In the 13th minute of the second half, Jin Tae-ho hit the post with a shot that was blocked. Unable to turn the game around in the dying minutes, South Korea ended up dropping their first two games of the group stage.
Fortunately, Korea’s goal differential of -3 despite the two losses kept them in third place in Group E, ahead of Burkina Faso, who lost 1-2 to the United States on the same day. The U.S. won 2-1 against Burkina Faso at the same venue before the Korea-France matchup. Burkina Faso finished last with a 2-0 record and a -4 goal differential, including a 0-3 loss to France.
The tournament features a total of 24 nations, divided into six groups of four. A total of 16 teams will then compete for the championship, including the 12 teams that finish first and second in each group, and the four best-performing teams in the third place of each group, so South Korea, which finished third in its group, still has a chance to reach the round of 16. However, it will take more of a miracle than a fluke.
South Korea currently sits in third place, with Uzbekistan (4 points), Iran (6 points), and Japan (6 points) unable to overtake them on points. For the remaining spot, South Korea will have to compete with Indonesia (2 points), who have already played three games, and Mexico (1 point), who, like South Korea, still have three games to play.
The most important thing is to win Game 3. If they don’t get a win against Burkina Faso, they will never make it to the round of 16. South Korea must take all three points and wait to see what the rest of the teams do.
Prior to the Korea-Burkina Faso matchup, the 6 p.m. match between Mexico and New Zealand will determine Korea’s path to the Round of 16. Mexico will face the bottom of Group F, New Zealand, in Game 3, and a win for the Mexicans would give them a four-point advantage, while a win for South Korea would put them in the round of 16.
A win for New Zealand would not guarantee them a spot in the round of 16. If the Kiwis win big against Mexico, they could tie with South Korea on three points and take the lead on goal difference.
However, the Kiwis are not as strong as Mexico.
Mexico has a history of reaching the quarterfinals at the 2019 tournament, while the Kiwis were also eliminated in the group stage at the 2019 tournament. In the end, a draw between the two teams is what South Korea should be hoping for. If the game between Mexico and New Zealand ends in a draw, South Korea can make a final push for victory against Burkina Faso. If they win, they will miraculously reach the round of 16.
South Korea will almost certainly need a miracle, as Mexico’s strength of schedule is one better than New Zealand’s. If Mexico beats New Zealand before then, Korea-Burkina Faso becomes a meaningless match.