Korea Republic beat Ecuador to book Quarterfinal Clash with Nigeria


South Korea defeated South American side Ecuador 3-2 to advance to set up a quarter-final clash with Nigeria’s Flying Eagles at the U-20 FIFA World Cup in Argentina.

Lee-Young-Jun gave South Korea the lead inside the 11th minute before Bae Jun-Ho made it 2-0 on 19 minutes, but the Ecuadorians pulled a goal back after Justin Cuero converted a penalty a few minutes before the first half ended.

Upon resumption of the second half, South Korea restored their two-goal advantage in the 48th minute when forward, Choi Seok—Hyun lashed on to a loose ball and slotted home the goal.

With six minutes left Sebastian Gonzalez scored for Ecuador to make it a nervy ending but the South Koreans held on to advance.

Both teams will be clashing for the third time ever at the U-20 level.

They first met in the group stage in the 2005 edition hosted in the Netherlands, where South Korea came from a goal down to beat the Flying Eagles 2-1.

Again, they met at the group stage in 2013 but Flying Eagles won the game 1-0.

Speaking after their qualification for the quarter-final, South Korea U20 manager Kim Eun-jung praised the Nigerian players for their physicality ahead of Sunday’s game, and stressed that they must be well prepared to stand a chance of beating the Flying Eagles.

In quotes relayed by Chosun, Eun-jung stated: “When I watched the game against Argentina yesterday, the Nigerian team seemed to be very well prepared.  Players in all positions are physically outstanding and have flexibility. We will do the analysis properly.”

He added: “We will prepare hard for the match against Nigeria, so please support us from afar. As an Asian team, Korea is the only team that maintains its pride, so I will prepare well for the next game and produce good results with a sense of responsibility and pride as an Asian.

The Flying Eagles quarter-final clash with South Korea comes up on Sunday, June 4, inside the Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades, Santiago del Estero at 6:30pm.

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