South Korea football reaches round of 16 for third straight time…Japan ‘in danger of missing out’

May 28, 2023 0 Comments

South Korea’s football team reached the round of 16 at the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) U-20 World Cup for the third time in a row, continuing its momentum towards ‘Again in 2019’.

Japan slipped to third place in Group C of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup after coming from behind to lose 1-2 to 10-man Israel at the Mendoza Stadium in Argentina on Monday (28 June), leaving them with three points (D1, L2).

As a result, South Korea (4 points) have booked their ticket to the Round of 16 by finishing in the ‘top four teams in Group C’, even if the worst happens and they lose their Group F match against Gambia (6 points) at the same venue on 29 June at 6am.

At the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the round of 16 is made up of the top 12 teams from each of the first two places in groups A to F and the top four teams from the third place in each group.안전놀이터

Of the top three teams to finish the group stage so far today, Slovakia in Group B and Japan in Group C are tied on three points, neither of which is more than a point ahead of South Korea with one match remaining.

As a result, even if South Korea slips to third place in the group, they will still be among the ‘top four teams in the group’ and qualify for the round of 16 regardless of the outcome of their final match against The Gambia on 29 September.

South Korea have now reached the round of 16 in three consecutive tournaments, starting with South Korea 2017 (round of 16), Poland 2019 (runners-up) and now Argentina.

Kim Eun-Joong-ho’s ‘early round of 16’ was the result of the third match of Group C, which saw one theatre goal after another.

Japan were held to a 1-1 draw by Israel in stoppage time despite being outnumbered, while Colombia went down 0-1 to Senegal before scoring a late equaliser.

In the end, Colombia (7 points) and Israel (4 points) qualified for the Round of 16 by finishing 1-2, while Japan slipped to third place in the group and will have to wait for the ‘third place wild card’.

Had there not been theatre goals in both matches, South Korea’s qualification would have been delayed until after the Gambia result on the 29th.

Kim will now prepare for the final group game against the Gambia with a light heart.

Earlier in the day, Japan took the lead against Israel through Isa Sakamoto’s header in stoppage time following a free kick in the first half.

Israel, who finished the first half 0-1, were left with 10 men 16 minutes into the second half when substitute Ran Binyamin was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in just three minutes from the start of the second 20 minutes. Binyamin was ‘out’ just seven minutes after entering the field.

However, Binyamin’s sending off increased the fighting spirit of the Israelis and they came back from a 10-man disadvantage to equalise in the 31st minute through a Roy Nabi header.

Israel sank Japan in stoppage time when Omer Senior scored a ‘theatre finish’ with his right foot from the edge of the area after a short pass inside the penalty area.

Israel, making their U-20 World Cup debut at the tournament, continued their run to the round of 16.

Meanwhile, Japan, who slipped to third place in Group C, is now fifth out of six nations (the top four finishers advance to the round of 16) with Group E to F playing their final matches on 29 September, and faces the prospect of being knocked out of the group stage for the first time in 22 years since the 2001 tournament.

Japan failed to qualify for the knockout stages of four consecutive tournaments since 2009 before reaching the round of 16 in back-to-back editions in 2017 and 2019.

In the same group, Colombia came from 0-1 down to draw 1-1 with Senegal at the La Plata Stadium thanks to a late Oscar Cortes equaliser in stoppage time.

Senegal would have finished third in the group had they held on for the win, but conceding a theatre goal meant they finished bottom and were eliminated.

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