South Korea fell to Italy in the semifinals of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) U-20 World Cup, missing out on a spot in the final.
South Korea, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong, lost 1-2 to Italy in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the La Plata Stadium in Argentina on Monday (Sept. 9).
South Korea, who were looking to reach their second consecutive final after finishing as runners-up at the 2019 tournament in Poland, conceded a 41st-minute goal to Italy in the third-place match.
South Korea will play Israel, which lost 0-1 to Uruguay in the previous quarterfinal, in the third-place match at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday at the same venue.
South Korea deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation with Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon) as the frontline striker.
Bae Jun-ho (Daejeon), Lee Seung-won 토토사이트 and Kim Yong-hak (Portimonense) were deployed in the second line, while Kang Sang-yoon (Jeonbuk) and Park Hyun-bin (Incheon) started in the midfield.
Cho Young-kwang (Seoul), Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University), Kim Ji-soo (Seongnam), and Choi Ye-hoon (Busan) lined up in defense, while Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon) was the starting goalkeeper.
South Korea’s “forward defense, backward counterattack” strategy helped them reach the quarterfinals despite being outplayed in terms of possession and shots on goal in the group stage, round of 16, and quarterfinals.
On this day, Korea played a similar style against European powerhouse Italy.
Italy scored the first goal in the 14th minute.
Cesare Cassaday, who had scored six goals before this game, took the lead with a right-footed mid-range shot off a Riccardo Turicchia ground ball cross.
South Korea equalized on a penalty kick by Lee Seung-won in the 23rd minute.
Inside the penalty area, Bae Joon-ho was pushed down by his opponent, Mattia Chanotti, and the referee initially let the play continue, but after a video assistant referee (VAR) review, the penalty kick was awarded.
Lee stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted his right-footed shot into the left side of the net to make it 1-1.
Lee now has two goals and four assists in the tournament, matching the offensive points (two goals, four assists) of 2019 Golden Ball winner Lee Kang-in (Mallorca).
In the second half, both teams had a few chances.
In the 13th minute, from an Italian corner, Matteo Prati’s header crossed our goal line, but the referee disallowed the goal after a discussion with the video assistant referee.
In the 18th minute of the second half, Lee Seung-won unleashed a powerful right-footed mid-range shot that was saved by the opposing goalkeeper.
In the 39th minute, Lee Young-joon’s shot went into the sky after Bae Jun-ho broke through on the left.
Bae Jun-ho continued to impress in the second half, breaking down the left flank on his own in the 25th minute.
In the 41st minute of stoppage time, Italy finally scored their second goal.
Italy won a free kick after a foul by Park Hyun-bin in the front of the penalty area, and Simone Papundi scored immediately with a left-footed shot for the final goal of the game.
Korea was out-shot 7-19 and out-shot 3-9 on the day, but they were able to keep Italy on their toes in terms of content.