Underdogs in Group F but well organized
Lost to South Korea in the quarterfinals seven years ago
Must be prepared for a ‘defend first, counterattack later’ strategy
‘Cannon’ Aseituno is No. 1 to watch out for
Son Heung-min,메이저놀이터 center, sheds tears on the field after South Korea’s 0-1 loss to Honduras in the soccer quarterfinals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Olympic Photo Collaboration
After knocking off the favorites in the first leg, Kim Eun-jung-ho will now look to solidify their place in the Round of 16 against one of the group’s weakest teams. But there is no room for complacency. They can’t afford to let their guard down against Honduras, the team that upset Korean soccer seven years ago.
Kim Eun-joong’s South Korea U-20 team will face Honduras at 6 a.m. on June 26 at the Mendoza Stadium in Mendoza, Argentina, in the second match of Group F of the FIFA World Cup 2023.
South Korea pulled off an upset in its first group game on Sept. 23, defeating France 2-1 behind goals from Lee Seung-won (Gangwon) and Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon).
As of the 24th, South Korea is tied for first place in Group F with Gambia, who beat Honduras 2-1, followed by France and Honduras in third place. The best-case scenario for South Korea in the second round is that they beat Honduras and the Gambia fail to beat France. In that case, South Korea will advance to the round of 16 early, regardless of the outcome of the Gambia’s final group game.
Honduras, who were initially thought to be the underdogs in Group F, were upset by the Gambia and are now considered the weakest team in the group. They have qualified for the U-20 World Cup eight times, but have never made it past the group stage.
South Korea has a dominant 8-1-1 record against Honduras across all age groups. However, the only loss is a bitter one. That loss came in the quarterfinals of the men’s soccer tournament at the 2016 Rio Olympics. South Korea, who were in a group with strong teams such as Germany and Mexico and had the momentum after topping their group, suffered a shocking 0-1 loss to Honduras in the quarterfinals, ending their medal dreams. Honduras, who were playing a ‘double bus’ defense at the time, scored a sharp counterattack to hand Korea a bitter defeat.
Honduras had lost their first game against Gambia, but not by as much as the score suggests. The team is made up of mostly domestic league players, which is not to be underestimated when it comes to organization.
The player to watch out for for Honduras is striker Marco Aceituno (Real España). After scoring six goals at the North and Central American U-20 Championship, tied for second in the tournament, he also scored a header against the Gambia. His natural position is on the left flank, but he also occasionally plays up front for the national team. He’s not the tallest player at 5’11”, but his speed and jumping ability make him a top target.