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S. Korea finish 4th at FIFA U-20 World CupBy Yonhap
Published : June 12, 2023 - 09:12
South Korea finished in fourth place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup following a 3-1 loss to Israel in the third-place match Sunday.
The teams each had a goal in the first half, before Israel struck twice in the second half to grab third place at La Plata Stadium in La Plata, eastern Argentina.
South Korea lost to Italy 2-1 in the semifinals Thursday and came up short in a bid to salvage one last victory to cap off a surprising run.
This was South Korea's second straight top-four finish at the U-20 World Cup. They were the runners-up to Ukraine in 2019, with the 2021 competition canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Korea had a win and two draws in the group stage, and then knocked off Ecuador and Nigeria to reach the semifinals. They battled Italy hard before surrendering a late go-ahead goal in the semifinals, and couldn't get past Israel, another upstart team, with third place at stake.
Ran Binyamin put Israel on the board in the 19th minute with a brilliant scissor kick, set up by Hamza Shibli's cross from the left wing.
Undeterred by the highlight reel-worthy goal, South Korea drew even five minutes later on captain Lee Seung-won's second penalty goal in two matches.
The penalty was awarded when forward Bae Jun-ho, trying to meet a cross by Lee on a counterattack chance, got pushed by Ilay Feingold in the box.
Lee took his time before striking the ball past goalkeeper Ofek Melika for his team-leading third goal of the competition.
Israel upped their offensive pressure in the late moments of the first half, though Kim Joon-hong stood tall in the South Korean net to keep the match tied.
Binyamin tried to score his second scissor kick goal about 10 minutes into the second half, though the attempt floated over the open net after Kim Joon-hong was momentarily caught out of position.
South Korea survived a major scare in the 62nd minute, when Israel nearly took a lead in a goalmouth scramble following a corner.
Three minutes later, Omer Senior forced Kim to make a tough diving save with a left-footed strike. In the 70th minute, Senior was ruled offside after pouncing on a rebound from Shibli's initial shot.
Senior finally solved South Korea in the 76th minute, when he volleyed home a cross by Anan Khalaili to put Israel ahead 2-1.
Khalaili scored one for himself in the 85th minute to make it 3-1 Israel, and South Korea failed to get any closer. (Yonhap)
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