South Korea knocks out Nigeria from U-20 World Cup

Nigeria has been knocked out of the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina, after conceding in the early minutes of extra time to South Korea in a quarter-final match at the Santiago Del Estero.

The Flying Eagles had the greater possession and dominated all the areas except the most crucial portion, South Korea’s penalty box, as the Asians wielded a well-knit guard.

South Korea knocks out Nigeria from U-20 World Cup
Choi Seok-hyun of South Korea celebrates his goal against Nigeria. Source: Getty

Korea did not register a shot attempt until stoppage time in the first half. Nigeria attempted seven shots and handily won the possession battle, with Victor Eletu and Salim Lawal knocking on the Korean door in the opening 45 minutes.

Nigeria continued to dominate the run of play in the second half and they had answers to Korea’s counterattack attempts.

The teams remained goalless after 90 minutes, with Korea unable to put any shot on target.

Korea was able to push through, five minutes into extra time. Captain Lee Seung-won took a corner which was headed in by Choi Seok-Hyun past the helpless goalkeeper Kingsley Aniagboso. It was Korea’s first shot on target in the match.

South Korea knocks out Nigeria from U-20 World Cup
Nigerian players dejected after South Korea’s goal. Source: Getty

The two-time FIFA U-20 World Cup first runners-up did try to set up a comeback into the game but Korea’s defence stood solid as they secured a semi-final spot.

Nigeria had 22 shots to Korea’s four. They led the offensive categories, but the Asian side had the edge in the only category that mattered; goal.

Coached by Kim Eun-Jung, Korea will take on Italy in the semifinals at La Plata Stadium in La Plata, eastern Argentina. The kick-off is 6 p.m. local time on June 8, or 6 a.m. Friday, June 9 in Korea.

Korea finished as the runners-up to Ukraine at the previous U-20 World Cup in 2019. The 2021 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Korea has not won a FIFA title at a men’s tournament. In 2010, South Korea won the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup title.

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