Kim Eun-Joong-ho’s South Korea have failed to qualify for the round of 16 after two group games at the FIFA U20 World Cup 2023, prompting a case for a third and final round.
Kim Eun-joong’s South Korea drew 2-2 with Honduras in their second Group F match of the tournament at the Mendoza Stadium in Argentina on Sept. 26. Despite their numerical advantage, South Korea conceded two early goals and had to settle for a late goal from Kim Yong-hak and Park Seung-ho.
South Korea, which defeated France 2-1 in the first round, now sits in second place with a 1-1 draw (4 points), behind Gambia (6 points), who have won two in a row.
Honduras is third with a 1-1 draw (P1) and France is fourth with two losses (P0).
South Korea, which secured at least third place in the group, will play its final group game at 6 a.m. on Sept. 29 against Gambia, which also qualified for the round of 16. Honduras and France will face off at the same time.
While the group stage is still up in the air, South Korea’s chances of reaching the round of 16 are high.
If South Korea earns at least a draw against Gambia, they will advance on their own. If they win, they will finish first in their group, and if they draw, they will finish second in their group and punch their ticket to the Round of 16.
The only way this could happen is if South Korea loses to the Gambia.
If South Korea loses to the Gambia and has one win, one draw, and one loss (4 points), they will be ranked according to the result of the Honduras-France match.
If Honduras defeats France, they will tie with South Korea at 1-1, in which case they will be ranked based on goal difference and goal differential.
South Korea has scored four goals and conceded three so far. Honduras has scored three and conceded four.
If the teams are tied on goal difference, the teams will be ranked based on wins, goals against, and goals for, but since the teams tied 2-2 in the second round of group play, they will be ranked based on fair play points.
Through two games, South Korea has received six yellow cards and one red card. Honduras has one yellow card and one red card. It’s unlikely that it will come down to fair play, but if it does, South Korea is at a disadvantage.
If Honduras and France draw or France defeats Honduras, South Korea will advance to the round of 16 with at least a second-place finish, even if they lose to the Gambia.
The worst-case scenario is that South Korea loses to Honduras and finishes third in the group. In this case, the top four out of six teams will join the round of 16, based on the results of the other third-place teams.
We’ll have to see how the other groups fare, but with four points, South Korea’s chances of advancing are good. 안전놀이터
In the last five U20 World Cups, from 2011 to 2019, only Portugal at the 2019 tournament failed to reach the round of 16 with four points.
In the last edition of the tournament, five of the six group winners had the same four points, and Portugal was eliminated on goal difference.
“We need to give more than 100% until the Gambia game,” said Kim Eun-joong, “Recovery is the most important thing right now. We will recover well and prepare with our best strength,” he said, promising victory.