‘Again in 2019’ Kim Eun Joong-ho will look to book an early berth in the round of 16 at the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) U-20 World Cup 2023.
The South Korean U-20 soccer team, coached by Kim Eun-jung, will face Honduras in their second Group F match of the tournament at the Mendoza Stadium in Argentina on June 26 at 6 a.m. ET.
With a 2-1 victory over ‘favorites’ France (P=0, Goals For -1) in the first leg on Sept. 23, South Korea has three points (Goals For +1) and is tied atop Group F with The Gambia (P3, Goals For +1), who defeated Honduras (P0, Goals For -1) 2-1.
If South Korea beats Honduras in the second leg and the Gambia and France draw, they will clinch at least second place in the group and advance to the round of 16 early, regardless of the outcome of the final third leg with the Gambia.
With two wins, even if they finish third in the group, they would still have a very good chance of earning a “Round of 16 wildcard ticket,” which is awarded to the four best performing teams in the top six.
A loss to Honduras, however, would put them in the awkward position of having to make a “what if” scenario until the final group game.
After getting off to a good start with a win over France, Kim Eun-jung-ho will be looking to repeat the myth of the 2019 tournament runners-up.
The odds are in South Korea’s favor. They got off to a good start by beating France in their first game. Honduras, on the other hand, lost to Gambia and will have their hands full against Korea.
If they can find the space in the back like they did against France when the opposition was coming up, they have a chance.
The form and fitness of the players, who were worried about their lack of playing time with the national team, has been better than expected.
The team was able to improve their conditioning with a training camp in São Paulo, Brazil, and two friendlies before their arrival in Argentina.
In fact, Lee Seung-won (Gangwon) and Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon), who had tasted the goal in the trial, came up with the winner in France.
Also, goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong, who made a series of super saves and steady performances, is also expected to play a key role in Korea’s victory over France, although he conceded a penalty kick to the French due to a questionable call.
Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon) said through the Korea Football Association the day before, “If we win against Honduras, our chances of advancing to the round of 16 will increase considerably. We won’t think about the next game, but we will put everything on the line against Honduras.” 안전놀이터
Center back Kim Ji-soo (Seongnam), who played an impressive defense against France, also said, “My body is heavy after giving everything against France, but I will recover as soon as possible to prepare for Honduras.”
South Korea leads the all-time series against the Honduras U-20 team with two wins. They won in 2005 (2-1) and 2017 (3-2).
Honduras, making its eighth appearance at the U-20 World Cup, has never made it past the group stage.
One player to watch out for is Marco Aseituno (Real España), who scored a header against Gambia. He’s a versatile attacker who plays mostly on the flanks but can also play up front.
He’s also a proven resource, having scored six goals at the 2022 North and Central American U-20 Championship.