The South Korea national under-17 soccer team will go for its first win at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2023 when it takes on powerhouse France.
South Korea, coached by Byun Sung-hwan, will take on France at the Jakarta International Stadium in Indonesia on Friday at 9 p.m. KST in their second Group E match of the tournament.
Byun was given the “yellow light” to advance to the round of 16 after a 1-3 loss to the United States in the first round.
In the 24-nation tournament, which is divided into six groups, the four best performing teams from the first, second, and third place teams in each group advance to the round of 16.
For Byeonsung Hwanho, who have yet to report a win, a victory over France would greatly improve their chances of reaching the round of 16.
If they draw or lose to France, they could find it difficult to secure third place in the group, depending on the outcome of the third game.
In their first game against the United States, Byun ran into some bad luck, hitting the post twice in the first half alone and losing 1-3.
Byun, who vowed to challenge beyond the World Cup quarterfinals with “attacking soccer” before his departure, stuck to his word against the United States.
The experience of boldly playing forward soccer on the world stage, rather than cowering, will be invaluable to the U17s beyond the win.
“We conceded a lot of goals because we played risky soccer, but I don’t regret it,” Byun said after the game, adding, “We will prepare to play a winning game while maintaining our style in the remaining matches.”
In order to fulfill the primary goal of qualifying for the tournament while maintaining the philosophy of Byun’s football, South Korea will need to improve their goal scoring.
The game could have been very different if South Korea had capitalized on several first-half scoring chances in the first leg.
Striker Kim Myung-jun (Pohang U-18), the ‘captain’ and ‘main gun’, will be looking to score for the second straight game against the USA.
All eyes will also be on Yoon Do-young (Daejeon U-18), who scored four goals alongside Kim at the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-17 Asian Cup, which served as a qualifier for this tournament.
Lapses in defensive concentration in the closing stages of the game, a major factor in the loss to the United States, will need to be addressed.
France entered the tournament as runners-up at the UEFA U-17 European Championship 2023.
They started off well with a 3-0 win over Burkina Faso in the first round.
Mathieu Lambourde and Tidyam Gomis, who scored a team-high two goals each at the UEFA U-17 Championship and one goal apiece against Burkina Faso, are the number one and two players to watch.
South Korea is winless in the all-time series between France and the U-17 national team.
The last meeting was in the group stage of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where South Korea lost 1-3 after a late goal by Sangbin Min (Minnesota). 파워볼사이트