Korea Faces Tough Start in Youth World Cup

      March 16, 2017 10:22

      Korea has its work cut out for it in the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup as it will face traditional football superpowers right off the bat in the group stage.

      Sighs from the audience were audible during the draw for the youth tournament held in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday. Diego Maradona of Argentina chose his home country in the same group as Korea and then Argentinian Pablo Aimar picked England. Football legend Cha Bum-kun, vice chair of the tournament's Korean organizing committee, let his feelings known with an awkward grin.

      Guinea was the other member of the group, and the African country emerged as a dark horse during the regional qualifiers as it finished in third place despite ranking 70th in the world. 

      The draw for the FIFA U-20 World Cup is held in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Wednesday. /Yonhap

      As a host, Korea has the privilege of avoiding five top-seeds -- France, Germany, Portual, Uruguay and the U.S. -- but will now have to face the top competitors in what may be considered a "group of death."

      It aims to advance to the semifinals in the competition, a feat it achieved in Mexico in 1983, but it remains to be seen.

      Korea will first face Guinea on May 20 in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province in a match that may seem easier than the others, but seasoned fans know that African nations typically have very strong youth teams.

      Japan, which ranked top in the Asian qualifiers, was grouped together with Italy, South Africa and Uruguay. 

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