Korea to Face Ecuador in U-20 World Cup Semifinal

  • By Chang Min-seok

    June 10, 2019 11:13

    Korea will face Ecuador in the semifinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland on Tuesday after a dramatic win against Senegal in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

    Korea beat the African country in a thrilling tussle that extended the game to extra time and then led to a penalty shootout. The game was tied 2-2 after regular time with Korea scoring an equalizer in stoppage time. In extra time, Korea led with a goal in the 96th minute, but this time Senegal scored an equalizer in stoppage time. 

    In the shootout, Korea missed the first two shots but battled back to win 3-2, advancing to the semifinals for the first time in 36 years since the 1983 event in Mexico. But back then, only 16 countries competed, and the group stage was followed immediately by the quarterfinals.

    Lee Ji-sol (center) reacts with his teammates after scoring an equalizer in stoppage time in a match against Senegal at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland on Saturday. /Yonhap

    The semifinal between Korea and Ecuador will be a rematch of a friendly the two teams played on May 16, just before the U-20 World Cup kicked off, which Korea won 1-0.

    Ecuador finished third in its group -- after Italy and Japan -- with one win, one draw and one loss, only just scraping through to the round of 16. However, it has been superb in the knockout stage, beating Uruguay 3-1 in the round of 16 and the U.S. in 2-1 in the quarterfinals. Its previous best showings at the U-20 were advances to the round of 16 in 2001 and 2011.

    The other two places in the semifinals have been booked by Italy and Ukraine, and the final will be held on June 15.  

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