The South Korean Under-18 National Team has been crowned the inaugural champions of the EOU Cup after defeating Southeast Asian powerhouse Vietnam.
Led by U-20 coach Lee Chang-hyun, South Korea scored two second-half goals to defeat Vietnam 2-0 in the third match of the EOU Cup U-18 International on Friday at Mokdong Sports Complex in Yangcheon-gu, Seoul.
South Korea wrapped up the tournament with two wins, one draw and seven points, combining results from earlier matches against Ukraine (4-2 win) and Morocco (1-1 draw). They were crowned the tournament’s inaugural champions, ahead of Ukraine (2 W, 1 D) with six points, Tunisia (4 W, 1 D) with four points, and Vietnam (3 L) with zero points.
Morocco’s 3-4 loss to Ukraine in the previous match gave South Korea a commanding lead heading into kickoff against Vietnam. Morocco, who were tied with Korea on four points (1-1) after two matches, needed to win their final match against Ukraine to take the title. However, Ukraine’s victory created an environment where Korea could win the title regardless of the score if they beat Vietnam.
However, the lack of tension in the final game proved to be toxic for the Koreans. Korea was unable to find the back of the net against Vietnam, even though they kept attacking the entire time. At times, they were caught off guard by Vietnam’s bold counterattacks.
Korea’s goals came in the second half, when the players were fresh off the field. The first goal came in the 10th minute of the second half. Kim Do-yoon (Suwon FC U-18) stole the ball in a scramble in the opponent’s half and slipped it between the defense and goalkeeper to rattle the Vietnamese net.
In the 21st minute of the second half, South Korea extended their lead when Jin Jun-seo (Gwacheon Go) received the ball on the right side of the danger zone and finished with his right foot. Spurred on by the momentum, Korea pushed forward for the remainder of the match, but were unable to find an additional goal.
The Korean A team will next face Vietnam in an A-match trial on July 17 at the Suwon World Cup Stadium. Two days earlier, the younger brother scored the first goal in a match between the U-18 national teams, giving his older siblings a healthy boost.토토사이트
“The international tournament allowed our players to gain a lot of experience,” said head coach Lee Chang-hyun, “and it helped both the players and the coaching staff in the process of building the national team for the next (age-group) World Cup.”
Midfielder Jung Maho (Shin Pyeong-go), who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), said, “It was a great experience to play with players from all over the world in such a short period of time,” adding, “I think it will give us a chance to improve further.”
The EOU Cup was established this year to promote global peace and raise awareness of the environment. The name “EOU (Earth on Us)” refers to the Earth and community. The list of participating countries includes countries that have suffered from war or division in the past (South Korea, Vietnam, Morocco) or are currently at war (Ukraine). Ukraine will use the experience to prepare for the U-19 Euro 2024 qualifiers next month.
The tournament was also an environmentally conscious event. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) was a partner and ran a campaign throughout the tournament to encourage spectators to take public transportation and use tumblers. The trophies were also made from eco-friendly hardwood, with no metal or plastic. The event was organized by the Korea Sports Agents Association and sponsored by Seoul Metropolitan Government and Shinhan Bank.