Israel is the country that caused the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup to be switched from Indonesia to Argentina. Israel qualified for the U-20 World Cup for the first time ever after finishing runner-up at last year’s UEFA U-19 Championship, but after a backlash from Indonesian Muslims over Israel’s entry, FIFA stripped Indonesia of its hosting rights and awarded the tournament to Argentina.
After a series of twists and turns, the Israelis made it to Argentina, where their miracle continued. They overturned the odds to become the group’s underdogs, scoring a late stoppage-time winner against Japan in their final game to win 2-1 and advance to the round of 16 after finishing second in the group (1W, 1D, 1L). Down 0-1 and a man down, they turned a hopeless situation into a 2-1 victory. Japan suffered an embarrassing group stage exit when they were swept 먹튀검증 by Israel. In the round of 16, they faced Uzbekistan and won 1-0 with a late goal in stoppage time. Their quarterfinal opponent was Brazil. Just when we thought our luck had run out, on April 4 (KST), we beat the favorites 3-2 in extra time to advance to the semifinals. It was dramatic, too. It was 0-1, then 1-1, then 1-2 in extra time, and just when you thought it was over, they came back. FIFA called it “one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition.”
Joining Israel in the quarterfinals at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 9 is South American pride Uruguay. Uruguay swept the United States 2-0 in the semifinals on Friday. The tournament was expected to be dominated by South American nations, including host Argentina, but Uruguay was the only team to survive as Argentina and Ecuador were eliminated in the round of 16 and Brazil and Colombia were knocked out in the quarterfinals. Uruguay, a two-time winner of the adult World Cup, has only finished runner-up at the U-20 World Cup twice (1997-2013).
The other quarterfinal matchup will be between South Korea and Italy at 6 a.m. on Sept. 9. This means that the tournament’s final four will feature one team from Asia (Korea), one from the Middle East (Israel), one from Europe (Italy), and one from South America (Uruguay). Coincidentally, all four teams finished second in their groups. Italy lost 0-2 in the group stage to Nigeria, the same team South Korea beat in the quarterfinals.