To get past Italy in the final, the real challenge is the ‘war on fatigue’

Exhausted from an extended quarterfinal battle
The key to recovering from a short break

The opponent is Italy, but the real opponent is a tired team.

After reaching the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the second consecutive time, the Korea U-20 National Team will face Italy in the final at 6 a.m. on June 9.

Through group play, South Korea has three wins and two draws (8G-5L), while Italy has four wins and one loss (11G-6L). Italy lost 0-2 to South Korea’s quarterfinal opponent Nigeria in the group stage, but beat Brazil 3-2 and defeated England 2-1 in the Round of 16. Italy played their quarterfinal match a day earlier than South Korea. South Korea, on the other hand, had to go to extra time in the quarterfinals. In terms of physical strength, South Korea has a slight disadvantage.

Italy’s No. 1 player to watch is undoubtedly top scorer Cesare Cassaday (Reading) with six goals. After joining English Premier League powerhouse 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 national team 토토사이트.

South Korea leads the all-time series between the U20s and Italy with two wins. However, those games were in 1981 and 2000, so they don’t mean much. Like South Korea, Italy has had a good recent run at the U20 World Cup. They have reached the quarterfinals three times in a row, including third place in South Korea in 2017 and fourth place in Poland in 2019.

Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University), who scored goals in both the round of 16 and quarterfinals, said, “The Nigeria game was the most difficult, but we won while our physical strength was low.” “We will prepare well for Italy 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 Korea’s strength.”

For South Korea, regaining fitness will be key. The fatigue of traveling long distances for the Round of 16 was evident in the quarterfinals. Korea will have to travel to Buenos Aires again to face Italy. The key will be how to overcome the fatigue of traveling long distances and playing so many close games as quickly as possible. South Korea scored four of their eight goals from set pieces. They are very quick on the counterattack after defending. If they can capitalize on their well-honed set pieces and quick counterattacks, they could make a run to the final.

“Italy is aggressive, so we will be able to take advantage of our counterattack, which is our strength,” said Kim Hak-beom, former head coach of the U23 national team. “If we can overcome ourselves, we will have a good result.”

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