FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

23 May - 15 June

FIFA U-20 World Cup

Matchday Preview: Time to crown a new champion

Ukraine - Korea Republic, montage 
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  • First-time finalists offer enticing finish to Poland 2019
  • Korea Republic keen to become first Asian winners
  • Another chance to shine for suffocating Ukraine defence

MATCHDAY PREVIEW – Few could have successfully predicted the final line-up when the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 began on 23 May. More fancied sides like France and Argentina have bowed out, while the two finalists, Ukraine and Korea Republic, came to Poland with distinct plans and have executed them to dazzling effect.

Semi-finalists at the 2018 UEFA U-19 European Championship, this Ukraine bunch are at their most comfortable bottling opponents' attacks while relying on moments of offensive brilliance from forward Danylo Sikan and No10 Serhii Buletsa. Their 1-0 semi-final triumph against Italy in Gdynia was an archetypal performance for Oleksandr Petrakov's charges.

Korea Republic attribute their success in this competition to the winning formula of preparation and mindset. Head coach Chung Jungyong has his side playing some of the most organised football that Poland 2019 has seen. Combine that with the effervescent playmaking of Lee Kangin and it's obvious how the Taeguk Warriors reached this stage.

The game

Saturday 15 June
Ukraine-Korea Republic (Lodz, 18:00 local time)

What you need to know

Chasing greatness: This is the first men's side for Korea Republic to reach a global final, and they could become the first Asian winners of the men's competition. Korea Republic won the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2010, defeating Japan in the final.

“I take a team when they are 15 years old. Now I have been working with these boys for five years. I don’t want to say farewell.”
Ukraine coach Oleksandr Petrakov

Players to watch

Andriy Lunin (Ukraine)
The Real Madrid starlet briefly joined the senior team for UEFA European Championship qualifiers and was absent from the U-20's quarter-final triumph against Colombia. But he didn't miss a beat returning to action against Italy, helping keep a clean sheet while padding his sterling record of just three goals conceded in five matches.

Lee Kangin (Korea Republic)
The Valencia product has been essential to Korea Republic as a creative force, free to roam the attacking third in front of a disciplined defence. When the Taeguk Warriors score it's a fair bet that Lee has helped produce the moment of magic, as he did assisting their semi-final winner against Ecuador.

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