U17 Asian Cup ‘Big Bang’ with first-ever Korea-Japan final

South Korea’s soccer team has reached the U17 Asian Cup final and will try to win its first title in 21 years. The opponent is Japan.

South Korea’s U17 team, led by Byun Sung-hwan, defeated Japan 1-0 on a free kick by Baek In-woo (Yongin Football Center U18) in the tournament’s quarterfinal match on Tuesday (Sept. 30) at Pathum Thani Stadium in Thailand.

South Korea will play defending champion Japan, who beat Iran 3-0, for the title on Jan. 2 at 9 p.m. ET. It is the first time the tournament has featured a Korea-Japan match in the final. 메이저놀이터

South Korea, which won in 1986 and 2002, is seeking its first title in 21 years. Japan, who have won the tournament a record three times – in 1994, 2006 and 2018 – will be looking to win their second straight title. The tournament is being held for the first time in five years after the 2020 edition was canceled due to COVID-19.

South Korea took on Uzbekistan with Kim Myung-jun (Pohang Steel) in the top position and Yang Min-hyuk (Gangneung First) and Yoon Do-young (Chungnam Institute of Technology) on the left and right wings. Korea struggled in the early stages of the game, conceding the initiative to Uzbekistan. They struggled to break through Uzbekistan’s tight defense. However, after the midway point of the first half, they began to find their groove, breaking through the opponent’s left flank.

The first and final goal came in the 31st minute. Yang Min-hyuk stole the ball and gave it to Jin Tae-ho (Youngsanggo) up front. In the process, he drew a handball foul from an opponent near the penalty line. Baek In-woo took the free kick and kicked the ball hard with his right foot, which bounced off the ground once in the box before being sucked into the corner of the goal. 해외안전놀이터 추천

After Lim Hyun-seop (Matango) saw his right-footed mid-range shot saved by the opposing goalkeeper in first-half stoppage time, South Korea continued their momentum in the second half, with Baek In-woo and others repeatedly testing Uzbekistan’s goal, but were unable to find an additional goal. The Koreans pressed in the center of the field to steal the opponent’s ball and counterattack, but their finishing was lacking. In the 13th minute of the second half, Yoon Do-young’s shot hit the post. Uzbekistan relied on long balls as Korea dominated the midfield, but their accuracy was lacking.

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