Kim Eun-jong-ho’s Azzurri Legion will face Italy on Monday (Sept. 9) in the final of the FIFA U20 World Cup 2023. South Korea leads the all-time series against Italy’s U20 national team by a wide margin. They have won both meetings. The “memorable goals” by Choi Sun-ho and Lee Chun-soo are still talked about.
South Korea faced Italy in their first group stage match at the 1981 U20 World Cup in Australia, and overcame an early deficit to secure a convincing victory. Kwak Sung-ho opened the scoring in the seventh minute, followed by multi-goal efforts from Choi Sun-ho in the 12th and 29th minutes. Pietro Mariani pulled one back in the 38th minute, but Lee Kyung-nam struck five minutes later to seal a comfortable victory.
The Korea U20s met the Italy U20s again in a four-nation friendly in Japan in 2000, with Lee Ik-Su, who was then known as the “Millennium Express,” scoring the winning goal. Lee scored the winning goal with a fantastic individual effort and a perfect shot that left the Italian defense reeling.
Korea-Italy U20 head-to-head results
- 1981 U20 World Cup, Australia: Korea won 4-1 (Kwak Sung-ho, Choi Sun-ho <2 goals>, Lee Kyung-nam)
- 2000 Japan Four Nations Friendly Tournament: Korea won 1-0 (Lee Ik-Soo scored the winning goal)
In this tournament, South Korea reached the semifinals with an undefeated record (3 wins and 2 draws). They defeated France 2-1 in the group stage before drawing against Honduras (2-2) and Gambia (0-0). In the tournament, they defeated Ecuador (3-2) and Nigeria (1-0). Italy had four wins and one loss in five matches leading up to the quarterfinals. They beat Brazil 3-2 in their first group game, but lost to Nigeria 0-2 in the second. They then reeled off three straight wins 메이저놀이터. They defeated the Dominican Republic (3-0), England (2-1), and Colombia (3-1).
Meanwhile, South Korea’s senior national team also fared well against Italy in the World Cup. They first met in the group stage of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, losing 2-3. Against Italy, the defending champions, Choi Soon-ho and Heo Jung-moo scored goals. At the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, they met in the round of 16 and won 2-1. Seol Ki-hyun’s equalizer and Choi Jung-hwan’s golden goal combined to create a miraculous upset.