Joy for Korea Republic, heartbreak for Saudi Arabia

Korea Republic edged South Africa 1-0 while Saudi Arabia suffered the agony of a late 4-3 defeat at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland on Tuesday.

Both Asian teams went into their respective matches needing to win after having lost their opening ties but while Korea Republic held on strongly after Kim Hyun-woo gave them the lead in the 69th minute, Saudi Arabia saw Mali come from behind twice to take all three points deep in added time.


Korea Republic picked up their first points of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 courtesy of a hard-fought 1-0 win against a resilient South Africa in Group F at the Tychy Stadium.

Even though torrential rain significantly affected the flow of the match in the opening period, it was South Africa who were in the ascendancy in the first half. A good stop by Lee Gwang-yeon in the Korea goal kept out a deflected effort by Siphesihle Mkhize, but the downpour inhibited the quality of play in general - meaning few opportunities.

With conditions clearing after the break, the Koreans returned to the field a different side.

The Asian outfit fired a couple of warning shots across the South African bow, with Cho Young-wook blazing over having been teed up by Oh Se-hun, and Jeong Ho-jin later rattling the crossbar.

Thabo Senong's side did not heed these warnings, and the deadlock was broken with just over 20 minutes remaining. A deflected cross into the South African penalty area looped high into the Tychy sky, and it was Hyun-woo who found the corner of the net with a clinically accurate header.

The Koreans comfortably saw out the game, and head into their final Group F clash with already-qualified Argentina on Friday level on points with their opening day conquerors Portugal. South Africa face a must-win clash against the two-time U-20 World Cup winners in Bielsko-Biala.

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