AFC U-19 Championship: South Korea enter the Semi-finals after a solitary goal victory over Tajikistan
The Korean coach Jung-Yong Chung made a couple of changes to his side for their quarterfinal match, with Um Won-Sang and Yim Jae-Hyeok making way for Hwang Tae-Hyeon and the experienced Cho Young-Wook.
Mubin Erhasghev also made a couple of changes to his starting eleven that played Saudi Arabia. Barotov Alisher and Zabirov Abdulmumin making way for Nurmatov Khuseyn and Saidov Karomatullo.
Quarter-Final: South Korea defeat Tajikistan 1-0
(KOR: Jeon Se-Jin 44')
South Korea employed a 5-4-1 formation for the entire duration of the game. Lee Gwang-Yeon ensured the scoreline stayed 1-0 with five incredible saves to his credit. The defence also held strong, winning 20 tackles and enforcing 24 clearances. The Red Devils had seven of their eleven attempts on goal finding the target.
Jordanian referee Ahmed Al-Ali handed out eleven yellow cards in the match with Korea picking six of them, and Tajikistan claiming five. Korea conceded 21 fouls, and The Persian Lions was not far behind conceding 17.
Tajikistan adopted a 4-1-4-1 style, which modified into a 3-2-4-1 formation with Safarov Manucher playing as a right midfielder. Though Tajikistan managed 52% of the ball possession, they only had five of their eight attempts finding the target. Their defensive line made 20 interceptions with Qirghizboev Shohrukh coming up with five saves.
In front of a paltry crowd at Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium, the Taegeuk Warriors had their first sight at goal after Jeon Se-Jin passed it to Oh Se-Hun who had Qirghizboev pull off a diving save to his left in the 12th minute.
The resultant corner-kick found Kim Hyun-Woo at the far post whose header bounced of the upright.
Panshabe Ehsoni received a second free-kick which did not trouble Lee Gwang-Yeon as he coolly collected the ball in front of the goal.
Cho Young-Wook came up with a 34th-minute strike which settled into the arms of Qirghizboev.
At the stroke of half-time, Oh Se-Hun’s pass found Jeon Se-Jin who cut past the Tajik defence to place the ball into the far corner leaving the Tajikistan goalkeeper stunned.
The Persian Lions made a bright start after Shervoni Mabatshoev long-range strike forced Lee Gwang-Yeon to make a save.
Hanonov Vahdat came up with a looping header to the far post which did not cause much trouble to Korean custodian Lee Gwang-Yeon.
Tajikistan left acres of space in search of an equalizer forcing Qirghizboev with multiple saves from Kim Hyun-Woo.
South Korea showed a professional approach in cutting out the goal scoring opportunities of the Tajikistan team, as they tasted success by claiming a spot in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
Korean coach Jung-Yong Chung speaking to the media said, “Am proud of my players, they gave 110 per cent. We need to improve our attacking prowess in the final third.”
South Korea certainly has to step up their attacking intent when they meet the high-scoring Qatar team in their semi-final clash.
November 1, 2018 - Qatar vs South Korea
November 1, 2018 - Saudi Arabia vs Japan