Korea end Flying Eagles U-20 World Cup dream with 1-0 victory

The Flying Eagles’ quest to win their first-ever U-20 World Cup ended in the quarter-final stage on Sunday, after they lost 1-0 to South Korea at the Santiago Del Estero, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

An extra-time goal by Choi Seok-hyeon was the difference as the Asians progressed to the semi-final of the U-20 World Cup in Argentina, where they face European champions, Italy.

Ladan Bosso made one change to the side that defeated hosts Argentina on Wednesday as Samson Lawal made way for Victor Eletu, who provided the assist for the second goal against the South Americans four days earlier.

Nigeria started the encounter as the better side and almost got the opener just two minutes into the game.

After dribbling past two opponents, Daniel Bameyi floated a nice cross into the Korean area, but the ball, intended for Ibrahim Muhammad, was blocked and cleared into safety following frantic defending by the Asians.

Bosso’s boys continued their dominance and in the eight minute, Abel Ogwueche almost broke the deadlock.

A well-taken corner-kick by Tochukwu Nnadi was headed straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong by Ogwueche.

The Flying Eagles continued their dominance and were able to contain the pacy and skilful Red Devils.

At the start of the second half head coach Kim Eun-jung sent in Bae Jun-ho to replace Kang Seong-jin as he added more threat to his attack.

Despite the early change from the coach, the Nigerians remained the team looking likely to score and captain Bameyi drew out a fine save from Jun-hong after hitting a long-range shot with venom, but the goalkeeper was equal to the task to keep the score level.

After an hour of action, South Korea began to look more dangerous and had their first shot of the game, with Lee Seung-joon’s curler beating Kingsley Aniagboso, in goal for Nigeria, but narrowly missed the target.

In response, Bosso made two quick changes as he sent in Umeh Emmanuel and Kehinde Ibrahim for Fago Lawal and Muhammad respectively.

Bameyi then missed the opportunity to give Nigeria the late winner after winning the ball from Park Hyun-bin on the edge of the box in the 86th minute, but he dragged his shot just wide as the game headed into extra time.

And just four minutes into extra time, South Korea took the lead with their first shot on target in the encounter, Lee Young-jun’s corner-kick headed in by Choi Seok-hyeon.

With just 10 minutes left, Emmanuel squandered a glorious chance to hand Nigeria an equaliser after he volleyed his shot way high beyond the posts from inside the box.

The South Koreans held onto their slender lead as they sealed a spot in the semi-finals and will face Italy on Thursday.