Korea down, not out after loss to France

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Korea down, not out after loss to France

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France’s Gilles Sunu, center, celebrates after scoring a goal during a U-20 World Cup Group A football match against Korea in Bogota, Colombia, yesterday. Korea lost to France 3-1. [YONHAP]


Korea’s U-20 football team failed to guarantee a spot in the round of 16 yesterday after it lost to France 3-1 at the U-20 World Cup in Bogota, Colombia.

Despite the loss, Korea still remains in second place in Group A with a win and a loss, leading France by a goal. The U-20 team can still advance to the final 16 with a win in its next match Saturday against Colombia, which has already qualified for the next round. But considering the South American country is the home-crowd favorite and has played solidly in wins over Mali and France, Korea might have a difficult time.

A total of 24 teams are divided into six groups and the winner and runner-up in each group advances to the next round, followed by the top four third-place teams. Thus, if Korea ties or loses to the host, its fate will be left to other teams.

“We only have a final game against Colombia,” head coach Lee Kwang-jong said during a post-game interview. “We know we need a win or at least a draw against Colombia.”

Before the match at the Estadio Nemesio Camacho, Lee announced he would implement a counterattack strategy against France, but later changed the game plan to a more attacking style, saying that France’s defense had some weak spots.

And it looked like his strategy would work. Korea threatened to score first with some sharp shots, including two well-struck headers by Rim Chang-woo from set pieces in the sixth and 21st minutes. But France’s goalkeeper, Jonathan Ligali, saved one and the other went over the bar.

In the end, Korea couldn’t keep pace and allowed the opening goal of the game in the 27th minute when Gilles Sunu shot in Timothee Kolodziejczak’s header from the corner. That gave the French the momentum as they intensified their attack through the end of first half.

Korea regained some tempo and fought back in the beginning of the second half. After Gyeongnam midfielder Yun Il-lok’s strike in the 51st minute, Kim Young-uk and Jung Seung-yong threatened the French goal with a free kick and a volley. Though they missed, the Koreans finally scored in the 59th minute when Kim converted a beautiful free kick from 20 meters out and tied the match 1-1.

The 1-1 deadlock continued until the 80th minute, when the French regained their lead after French captain Gueida Fofana’s shot deflected off Kim Jin-su’s head and past Korean goalkeeper Yang Han-been.

Korea substituted Yun and Jung with midfielder Nam Seung-woo and striker Lee Yong-jae, but received a final blow from Alexandre Lacazette, who put the ball into the net after receiving a cross from right back Loic Nego in stoppage time, closing out the game 3-1.

“France is a strong team,” coach Lee said after the match. “It’s especially bad that we couldn’t score when the game was tied at 1-1.”

Lee also added that the team lost some focus after giving up its second goal, but will try to reach the round of 16 against host Colombia.

“We lacked some elaborate touches when attacking,” Lee said. “We will prepare wisely the next two days and will achieve our goal of reaching the round of 16.”


By Joo Kyung-don [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

U-20 월드컵, 3차전이 있잖아

한국, 프랑스에 1-3 패
마지막 10분 역전·쐐기골 허용
6일 콜롬비아와 비겨도 16강 가능

마지막 10분을 지키지 못했다. 그러나 아직 16강 희망은 있다.

 한국 20세 이하(U-20) 대표팀은 3일(한국시간) 콜롬비아 보고타 엘 캄핀 스타디움에서 열린 2011 U-20 청소년 월드컵 프랑스와의 조별리그 2차전에서 종료 직전 10분 동안 두 골을 허용하면서 1-3으로 패했다. 한국은 프랑스와 나란히 1승1패가 됐지만 골 득실에 앞서 조 2위를 유지했다. 프랑스를 잡았다면 일찌감치 16강 진출을 확정할 수 있었던 경기라 아쉬움이 컸다.

 한국은 전반전에 프랑스의 거센 공세에 시달렸다. 점유율에서 61대 39로 밀렸고 전반 27분 질 수누(아스널)에게 선제골을 허용했다.

 전반에 동점골을 터뜨리지 못한 한국은 후반 시작과 동시에 반격을 펼쳤다. 후반 6분 윤일록의 중거리 슈팅을 시작으로 후반 10분 김영욱의 슈팅, 후반 11분 정승용의 슈팅이 골대를 빗나갔다. 결국 후반 14분 상대 아크서클 옆에서 얻은 프리킥을 김영욱이 오른발로 감아차 1-1 동점을 만들었다.

 그러나 막판 운이 없었다. 후반 36분 구에다 포파나가 페널티박스 바깥에서 드리블하다 오른발 슈팅을 때렸고, 공은 김진수의 머리를 맞고 골대 안으로 들어갔다. 이어 종료 직전 교체 투입된 알렉산드르 라가제트에게 세 번째 골까지 내줬다.

 한국은 6일 오전 10시 조 1위인 콜롬비아와의 조별리그 최종전을 통해 16강 진출을 타진한다. 전체 6개 조 가운데 각 조 1, 2위는 16강에 직행하고 각 조 3위 6팀 중 4팀이 성적에 따라 16강 진출권을 얻는다. 한국의 최상 시나리오는 3차전에서 압승을 거두고 2승1패로 16강에 진출하는 것이다. 그러나 비기기만 해도 무난히 16강에 오를 수 있다.

 최악의 경우 패하더라도 가능성은 남아 있다. 콜롬비아전에서는 만의 하나 패한다면 1골 차로 패해야 한다. 또 다득점까지 갈 경우를 생각하면 0-1 패배보다는 2-3, 3-4 등 득점을 주고받으며 패하는 게 낫다.

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