Semi-final Preview: Ecuador v Korea Republic

Published on: 10 June 2019

Lublin: Korea Republic are set to face Ecuador in the semi-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 on Tuesday, with Chung Jung-yong’s talented charges now potentially just 90 minutes away from what would be a first-ever appearance in the competition’s final.

Join as we reveal all you need to know ahead of the meeting in Lublin – the winners of which will play either Ukraine or Italy in Saturday’s title showdown.

Who, What, Where, When

Ecuador v Korea Republic

FIFA U-20 World Cup Semi-finals

Lublin Stadium, Lublin

Tuesday, June 11, 20:30 local time


How they got here

A dramatic 3-2 penalty shootout win over Senegal saw Korea Republic book their last four clash with Ecuador. The East Asians twice come from behind as the game finished 3-3 at the end of extra time, before they held their nerve to prevail on penalties. The success came after a 1-0 defeat of Japan in the Round of 16, and a group stage campaign which had seen the Koreans record back-to-back wins over South Africa and six-time champions Argentina.

For their part, Ecuador have shone just as brightly in the competition’s knockout phase after securing a place in the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams. Ecuador registered a win and a draw during the group stage – they lost 1-0 to eventual Group B winners and fellow semi-finalists Italy – before going on to beat Uruguay 3-1 in the Round of 16 and then the United States of America 2-1 in the last eight.

Leading goalscorers

Cho Young-wook (pictured above) found the net during the quarter-final win over Senegal to take his tournament tally to two and claim top spot in the Korea Republic goalscoring charts alongside teammate Oh Se-hun. Meanwhile, Ecuador’s Gonzalo Plata also has two goals to his name after scoring against Mexico and Uruguay en route to the semi-finals.

Previous meetings

Tuesday’s match will be first time the two teams have played each other at this level.

FIFA U-20 World Cup history

Thanks to their 12 AFC U-19 Championship titles, Korea Republic are Asia’s most accomplished side in the age category. Poland 2019 is their 15th FIFA U-20 World Cup appearance, with fourth place in 1983 their best display as of today – a finish they are now guaranteed to at least match.

Ecuador are featuring at the FIFA U-20 World Cup for a fourth time after making their debut in 2001. The South Americans had previously not gone further than the Round of 16, having reached that particular stage of the competition in both 2001 and 2011.

Photos: FIFA via Getty Images