At the U-20 World Cup 2023, the South Korean national soccer team became the first team in history to reach the quarterfinals of two consecutive tournaments (2019-2023).

Add to that the fact that they are the only Asian nation to reach the quarterfinals of two consecutive tournaments.

The South Korean U-20 team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-2 victory over Ecuador in the Round of 16 at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina on Sunday.

With the win, South Korea has now reached the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup six times in its history (1983-1991-2009-2013-2019-2023).

Their best result was a runner-up finish at the 2019 tournament. In 1983, they finished fourth in Mexico.

In terms of ‘streak’, South Korea has reached the quarterfinals of two consecutive tournaments following the 2019 tournament.먹튀검증

South Korea has reached the round of 16 three times in a row – 2009 (quarterfinals), 2011 (round of 16), 2013 (quarterfinals) and 2017 (round of 16), 2019 (runners-up), 2023 (quarterfinals) – but never before in two consecutive tournaments.

Two consecutive quarterfinal appearances would also be a “first” for an Asian nation at the U-20 World Cup.

The 2019 tournament featured four nations – South Korea, Japan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia – and only South Korea and Japan made it past the group stage.

Coincidentally, they met in the round of 16, with South Korea winning and advancing to the semifinals to finish as runners-up.

This year’s tournament also featured four countries – South Korea, Japan, Iraq, and Uzbekistan – with South Korea and Uzbekistan reaching the round of 16.

While Uzbekistan was knocked out of the tournament with a 0-1 defeat to ‘European veteran’ Israel on March 31 after a late stoppage-time goal, South Korea beat Ecuador the same day to reach the quarterfinals.

This makes South Korea the only Asian nation to reach the quarterfinals of two consecutive tournaments. In the 2017 edition, three countries – South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Japan – reached the round of 16, but all three failed to advance to the quarterfinals.

With South Korea as the only Asian nation to survive the tournament, eight teams – the United States (North and Central America), Nigeria (Africa), Italy and Israel (Europe), and Colombia, Brazil, and Uruguay (South America) – will compete in the quarterfinals starting on June 4.

With only one team from each of the continents of Asia, North and Central America, and Africa remaining alive, two European teams and three South American teams will be fighting for a ‘ticket to the last four’.

South America is the continent with the most wins at the U-20 World Cup, now in its 23rd edition.

Only Argentina (six times) and Brazil (five times) have been crowned champions.

At this year’s tournament, Argentina was eliminated in the round of 16 by Nigeria, while three other teams – Brazil, Uruguay, and Colombia – reached the quarterfinals, continuing the “South American dominance. Brazil will attempt to tie the record for most wins in a tournament.

Only Portugal and Serbia have won the tournament twice, and only Ghana has lifted the trophy on the African continent. No Asian country has ever won. South Korea’s runner-up finish at the 2019 tournament makes it even more disappointing.

The quarterfinals of the tournament were organized as Israel-Brazil (2:30 a.m. on April 4), Colombia-Italy (6 a.m. on April 4), Korea-Nigeria (2:30 a.m. on April 5), and USA-Uruguay (6 a.m. on April 5).

If South Korea defeats Nigeria in the quarterfinals, the winner will play the winner of Colombia-Italy in the semifinals on Sept. 9 at 6 a.m. in La Plata.

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