The men’s under-20 (U-20) soccer team led by coach Kim Eun-joong left for Uzbekistan, the ‘decisive field’, to participate in the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-20 Asian Cup.
According to the Korea Football Association, the national team departed for Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where the tournament will be held via Incheon International Airport on the afternoon of the 24th. In this tournament, which starts on March 1, Korea must finish in the top 4 to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which opens in Indonesia in May.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup is a tournament in which Korea won the runner-up in 2019, just before that, so fans have high expectations. But the fight is tough. In the quarterfinals of the U-20 Asian Cup, there is a high possibility that Korea will meet Saudi Arabia or Japan, which are expected to come up from Group D, so it is not guaranteed to advance to the quarterfinals.
The national team in Group C will face off against Oman on March 2, Jordan on March 5, and Tajikistan on March 8.
Coach Kim, who met with reporters at the Paju NFC (National Football Team Training Center) ahead of their departure, said, “The first goal is to enter the semifinals and go to the World Cup.” “We haven’t won a championship since 2012. I will challenge myself by reviving my winning experience as a player.” He also expressed his anticipation, saying, “There are strikers to look forward to,” and “I wonder if one or two star players will come out when the tournament starts.”
At the AFC U-19 Championship held in 1998, coach Kim raised the championship trophy by collaborating with Lee Dong-guk, the ‘legend’ of the K-League, for nine goals. 안전놀이터
Lee Seung-won, a midfielder belonging to Gangwon FC in professional football and the captain of the national team, said, “It’s time to show the fans what we prepared through field training and practice matches last year.” .
Korea has won the championship 12 times and holds the title of the country with the most wins. In the previous 2018 tournament, it was runner-up after Saudi Arabia.