In a word, it was a ‘disappointing bout’.
The Korean national under-20 (U20) soccer team, 메이저놀이터 which aimed to win the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Asian Cup for the first time in 11 years, missed the final in front of their eyes.
The Korean national team, led by coach Kim Eun-joong, lost (1-3) in a penalty shoot-out to the home team Uzbekistan in the semi-finals of the tournament held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on the 15th (local time), and was thwarted from advancing to the final.
Unfavorable conditions, such as the unilateral cheering of the Uzbek spectators who filled the 35,000 spectator seats, were already expected. In addition, there was nothing new about Kim Eun-joong, who exhausted his stamina in the quarter-final match against China, which was extended to overtime, and had to play again in the quarter-final in just three days. Uzbek took a day off more than us.
Even if we acknowledge that the Uzbek national team under the age of 20 is the best in Asia, the contents of Kim Eun-joong-ho’s game that day were disappointing.
At least, it was not only not pushed back in ball possession (50.4 vs. 49.6), but it is clear from the official statistics that it was absolutely pushed in the number of shots (10 vs. 27) and the number of effective shots (2 vs. 9).
Fans who put off going to bed and watched the game until dawn did not hesitate to say that without Goalkeeper Kim Joon-Hong (Kim Cheon)’s ‘save show’, he would have suffered an all-time crushing defeat.
In the semi-final before the match between Korea and Uzbekistan, Iraq defeated Japan in a penalty shootout and advanced to the final. Uzbekistan and Iraq will face off in the final on the night of the 18th for the championship cup. Korea and Japan finished the tournament in a tie for 3rd place without a match for 3rd and 4th place.