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(U20 World Cup) S. Korea finish 2nd after loss to Ukraine

All News 03:02 June 16, 2019

LODZ, Poland, June 15 (Yonhap) -- It was close but no cigar.

South Korea finished in second place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup following a 3-1 loss to Ukraine in the final at Lodz Stadium in Lodz on Saturday.

Lee Kang-in converted a penalty in the fifth minute to give South Korea an early lead, but Ukraine scored three unanswered goals for their first title.

Vladyslav Supriaha scored twice and Heorhii Tsitaishvili scored a late dagger for the champions.

South Korean players (in red) react to a goal by Ukraine during the FIFA U-20 World Cup final at Lodz Stadium in Lodz, Poland, on June 15, 2019. (Yonhap)

South Korea fell one victory shy of winning their first title at the biennial competition. A win would have given the country its first championship at a FIFA men's tournament. South Korea's only FIFA title so far came at the 2010 U-17 Women's World Cup.

South Korea still enjoyed their best performance at the premier youth tournament, surpassing the fourth-place finish in 1983 in Mexico. It was also the country's highest finish at any FIFA men's tournament. South Korea had also ended in fourth place at the 2002 World Cup that they co-hosted with Japan.

This still was a remarkable run to the final by a team that many felt wouldn't even survive the group stage.

After losing to Portugal 1-0 in their first Group F match on May 25, South Korea won five consecutive matches to reach the final.

But Ukraine snapped that streak with the championship on the line and capped off their own undefeated campaign with the title-clinching win.

Oh Se-hun of South Korea (R) reacts to a missed scoring chance against Ukraine in the FIFA U-20 World Cup final at Lodz Stadium in Lodz, Poland, on June 15, 2019. (Yonhap)


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