The South Korea U-17 national soccer team will face Japan in a fateful match for the title. The stage is set for the final of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-17 Asian Cup.
South Korea, led by Byun Sung-hwan, defeated Uzbekistan 1-0 on a free kick by Baek In-woo (Yongin Football Center U-18) 메이저사이트 in the quarterfinals of the tournament at Pathum Thani Stadium in Thailand on Monday (Sept. 29).
The victory sets up a highly anticipated final against Japan, who earlier defeated Iran 3-0, at 9 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the same venue. This is the first time a Korea-Japan matchup has been arranged in the U-17 Asian Cup final.
Byun Sung-hwan, who has been aiming to win the tournament since its inception, will be looking to make it 21 years since he last won the title in 2002. South Korea won the previous titles in 1986 and 2002, but have not been crowned Asian champions since. They narrowly missed out on the title in the 2008 and 2014 finals, losing to Iran and North Korea, respectively.
The Koreans are coming into this tournament with some serious firepower, scoring 15 goals in five games. They booked their place in the quarterfinals early with a 6-1 win over Qatar and a 4-0 victory over Afghanistan in Group B earlier in the tournament. They lost 0-2 in the final to a rotating Iranian team, but bounced back with a 4-1 quarterfinal victory over host Thailand.
Against Uzbekistan, with a spot in the final on the line, they took the lead with a free-kick winner and held on to that one goal the rest of the way. In the 31st minute, Baek In-woo was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty box, and his right-footed free kick found a gap in the defense and rattled the opponent’s net. 안전사이트
South Korea never relinquished the lead. Uzbekistan pushed hard for an equalizer, but they remained focused. In the end, the game ended with a 1-0 victory for Korea.
Their opponents, Japan, are the defending champions, having won the last edition of the tournament. They won two games and drew one in Group D to top the group and advance to the quarterfinals. The Japanese drew 1-1 with Uzbekistan before sweeping Vietnam 4-0 and India 8-4. They also defeated Australia and Iran in the tournament. They scored 19 goals in the final, more than South Korea, setting up a fierce firepower matchup.
South Korea leads the all-time series between the U-17 teams with 11 wins, nine draws and six losses. However, they have recently lost two straight to Japan, the most recent being a 0-3 defeat at the Dream Cup in Sendai, Japan, last June. If South Korea defeats Japan to claim the top spot, they will join Japan as the tournament’s joint most decorated teams (3).