Japan bounce back to advance to round of 16 at U20 World Cup in South Korea…for third straight time

South Korea Football, competing at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, advanced to the round of 16 early on the back of an upset win over Japan. With their third consecutive round of 16 appearance, the Koreans continued their march towards ‘Again in 2019’.

Japan came from behind to defeat 10-man Israel 1-2 in the third match of Group C at the U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Mendoza Stadium in Argentina on Monday (June 28). With three points (D1, L2), Japan slips to third place in the group and is in danger of missing the round of 16.

South Korea (1-1), which had already accumulated four points in Group F, booked its ticket to the round of 16 early by clinching the “top four teams in Group 3” regardless of the outcome of its final group game against Gambia (6 points) at 6 a.m. on Monday at the same venue.

Divided into six groups of four nations, the tournament will feature the 12 first- and second-place teams from each group, as well as the top four finishers from each group, in the round of 16. With the conclusion of Group D today, in addition to Japan, Group B’s third-place Slovakia also has three points. This means that South Korea can advance to the Round of 16 even if they lose to the Gambia and finish third in the group.

South Korea has now reached the round of 16 in three consecutive tournaments, starting with the 2017 tournament in South Korea (round of 16), followed by Poland in 2019 (runner-up) and now Argentina. The tournament was not held in 2021 due to COVID-19.

Japan dominated the early stages of the match with a series of threatening shots. The first goal also belonged to Japan. On a free kick in the 46th minute, a poorly cleared ball by Israel floated high in the box and Kuryu Matsuki sent a backheader into the box, where Isa Sakamoto ran onto it and slotted the ball home with his head.

When Israel’s Lan Binyamin was sent off in the 23rd minute after picking up two yellow cards in three minutes, it looked like Japan had secured a place in the round of 16. But eight minutes later, Israel scored a lucky header equalizer from Roy Nabi in the chaos following a free kick, and then in the 47th minute, Omer Senior, who was one-on-one with the keeper after receiving an exquisite heeled pass from Dor Turgeman, completed the miracle with his right foot to split the net.안전놀이터

Israel (1W, 1D, 1L), who finished second in Group C, caused a stir by advancing to the round of 16 for the first time ever. Japan will have to wait for the third-place finisher from a group with a worse record in the final Group E and F matches.

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