Korea-Japan winless streak snapped by U-18 boys… ‘flag ceremony’ after friendly win

The 18-year-old broke the Korea-Japan losing streak.

The South Korea U-18 National Team defeated the Japan U-18 National Team 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at Kusanagi Sports Complex in Shizuoka, Japan, in the first leg of the SBS Cup 2023 International Youth Football Tournament, thanks to an early goal from Kang Min-sung (Suwon FC U-18).

The victory snapped a two-year winless streak in Korea-Japan matches. Starting with the national team’s friendly in March 2021, the team suffered humiliating defeats by the same scoreline of 0-3 in five age-group matches against Japan, including the U-16 International Dream Cup in June 2022, the U-23 Asian Cup quarterfinals, the EAFF E-1 Championship in July 2022 and the U-17 Asian Cup final in July 2023.

Without a head coach, the team was led by a full-time coaching staff (Choi Jae-kwon, Lee Chang-hyun, Cha Sang-kwang as goalkeeping coach and Lee Yi-sung as physical coach). Kim Dong-min, Choi Seung-gu, Kang Chan-sol, Choi Jun-young, Jo In-jung, Jeong Mah-ho, Lee Jae-min, Baek Min-kyu, Kang Min-sung, Lee Gun-hee, and Lee Gong-hyun started.

Korea struck first in the 13th minute. A cross from the right hit a Japanese defender’s foot, deflected, and hit the post. With the score at 0-0, Korea took the lead five minutes into the second half. Jung Maho’s cross was met by Kang Min-sung, who calmly slotted home with his left foot.

South Korea pushed for a second goal after neutralizing the opposition counterattack with solid organization. Jin Jun-seo (Gwacheon Go) and Baek Min-gyu (Pyeongtaek Jinwi) made Japan nervous with back-to-back shots. The game ended with a 1-0 victory for Korea. The players celebrated the victory on enemy soil with a giant Korean flag.

The tournament features a total of four teams: the Korea U-18 National Team, Japan U-18 National Team, Shizuoka U-18 Select Team, and Kanto Region U-20 University Select Team. Teams will play three games per team in a round-robin format, with each game lasting 80 minutes with 40 minutes in each half.

Our national team is made up of players under the age of 18 who were born after 2005. It is designed to improve the international experience of players who are not selected for the U-20 and U-27 national teams. 스포츠토토

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