Kim Eun-jung Ho’s ‘flying dwarf’ Kim Yong-hak (Portimonense) was disappointed with the draw against Honduras.
Kim Eun-jung’s South Korea drew 2-2 with Honduras in their second Group F match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 at the 안전놀이터 Mendoza Stadium in Mendoza, Argentina on Saturday, thanks to goals from Kim Yong-hak (Portimonense) and Park Seung-ho (Incheon).
South Korea, which defeated France 2-1 in the first round, sits in second place in the group with a 1-1 record. Gambia, which beat Honduras and France, is in first place (6 points), followed by Honduras (1 point) and France (0 points) in third and fourth place.
The tournament will feature the top four teams from the first and second place finishers in each group and the third place finishers in each of the six pools advancing to the round of 16. South Korea’s spot in the round of 16 will be determined by the result of their final match against the Gambia. A win over the Gambia will see them advance to the round of 16 in first place, while a draw will see them finish second.
South Korea conceded a penalty kick (PK) to Ochoa in the 18th minute. Five minutes later, Ochoa was sent off for punching Bae Seo-Joon (Daejeon) in the face, giving South Korea a numerical advantage. However, they conceded another goal to Castillo in the fifth minute of the second half to go down 0-2. The Koreans pushed on and scored a late goal by Kim Yong-hak in the 13th minute and an equalizer by Park Seung-ho in the 17th minute to end the match at 2-2.
After the match, Kim Yong-joong told the Korea Football Association (KFA), “(We) had the numerical advantage, but it was difficult to score because they dropped their line. We lacked composure in our chances, and it’s a shame because we could have scored more.”
Kim’s substitutions paid off. After bringing on Park Seung-ho at the start of the second half, the offense came alive. Park Seung-ho proved to be the solution, scoring the equalizer with an exquisite header in the 17th minute of the second half. However, he had to leave shortly afterward due to injury. Coach Kim Eun-joong said, “It was an unexpected injury, but we have to see how he is. We have other resources, so we’re not too worried about it. We will prepare well for the Gambia match.”
For now, the most important thing for Kim is to recover his fitness. “I have to give 100% against the Gambia, so my recovery is the most important thing right now. I will recover well and play at my best,” he said.
Kim Yong-hak scored the game-winning goal to start the comeback from a 0-2 deficit. “Before the game, I tried to find the space in the back of the opponent’s side, and it worked,” he said. “The players are disappointed that we didn’t get the result despite our numerical advantage,” he said.
“I think we lost concentration in the final passing phase and in our shooting chances,” he said of the lack of goals. Kim Yong-hak concluded, “We are not out of the group yet. We will do our best to win the game against Gambia.”