To get past Italy in the final…the real test is the ‘war on fatigue’
The opponent is Italy, but the real opponent is their own exhaustion.
After reaching the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the second time in a row, the Korea U-20 football team will face Italy in the final on 9 September at 6am.
Including the group stage, South Korea has three wins and two draws (eight points and five goals), while Italy has four wins and one loss (11 points and six goals). Italy lost 0-2 to South Korea’s quarter-final opponent Nigeria in the group stage, but beat Brazil 3-2 and England 2-1 in the round of 16. Italy played their quarter-final a day earlier than South Korea. South Korea, on the other hand, had to go to extra time in the quarter-finals. In terms of physical strength, Korea has a slight disadvantage.메이저사이트
Italy’s number one ‘watch out for’ is undoubtedly top scorer Cesare Cassaday (Reading) with six goals. After joining English Premier League giants Chelsea last year, he was loaned to second-tier Reading in January. Cassaday has scored in each of his last three games, including two goals against Brazil and one against England-Colombia. Cassaday is the only foreigner in the Italian squad.
In the all-time head-to-head series between South Korea and Italy at Under-20 level, South Korea leads with two wins. However, those matches were in 1981 and 2000, so they don’t count for much. Like South Korea, Italy has had a good run at the U20 World Cup in recent years. They have reached the last four in three consecutive tournaments, finishing third in South Korea in 2017 and fourth in Poland in 2019.
Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University), who scored goals in both the round of 16 and quarter-finals, said, “The Nigeria game was the most difficult, but we won while our physical strength was low.” “We will prepare well for the Italy game and play a good game,” he said. Coach Kim Eun-joong said, “We had no expectations and were worried, but the players showed their potential,” adding, “We will not give up and show the strength of Korea.”
For South Korea, regaining fitness will be key. The fatigue of travelling long distances for the round of 16 was evident in the quarter-finals. Korea will have to travel to Buenos Aires again to face Italy. The key will be how to overcome the fatigue of travelling long distances and close matches as quickly as possible. South Korea scored four of their eight goals from set pieces. They are very quick on the counter-attack after defending. If they can capitalise on their well-honed set pieces and quick counter-attacks, they could be in with a chance of reaching the final.
“Italy is an aggressive team, so we should be able to make good use of our counter-attacks,” said Kim Hak-bum, former head coach of the U23s. “If we can overcome our own difficulties, we will have a good result.”