Fresh off the deserved feel-good win that was Brazil, our U17 NT traveled about 10 minutes by bus to La Serena to face Guinea’s U17 NT. Now you may be wondering, “where is Guinea again?” but Guinea has actually been a fairly strong contender when the U17 level is considered. They’ve done well in past U17 WC’s and remember, African teams are REALLY good at this age group, Nigeria holding the most number of titles (5) with Brazil and Ghana with 4 and 3 (though I’m not sure which is 4 and which is 3). So with the speed and physicality that pretty much the entire Guinea front line possesses (we saw some scary counters when they faced England) it was somewhat expected that we’d have difficulties against Guinea, which we did. It was a fairly 50-50 encounter, very end to end, with Guinea having the better opportunities. But somehow, thanks indirectly to a defensive mistake, we managed to score with like 20 seconds left on the clock. I’m on the run and probably can’t get into much detail, but I’ll definitely talk about the bigger picture and post as many highlights as I can find. Read on for more!
The lineup was the same from the Brazil game:
Lee Seung Woo Yoo Ju An
Park Sang Hyuk Kim Jung Min Jang Jae Won Kim Jin Ya
Park Myung Soo Lee Seung Mo Lee Sang Min Yoon Jong Kyu
Ahn Jun Soo
But the game didn’t go as smoothly as the Brazil game. This game felt much sloppier – we were more rushed and made WAY too many pass-misses that gave Guinea some dangerous turnovers, and given how good they were on the counter I was scared we’d concede multiple times in the first half. And that was probably the biggest failure on our part for the match as a whole – passing to our opponents. This is something we must fix vs. England, who will be going all out against us considering they only have 1 point (but we’re probably going to rest our starters anyway considering we’re already in the RO16). Fortunately, our defense stood very strong and we were able to escape the first half 0-0.
Second half was very much similar to the first – end to end stuff – though I think LSW was a little more anonymous in the 2nd half, whereas in the first we saw some brilliant runs and through passes. Unfortunately, LSW’s touch was off yesterday, and his throughpasses were a bit heavy.
Let’s talk about that goal though, because when at 90 + 1′ I was sure this was going to be a goalless draw. But somehow, on one of our last counters Kim Jin Ya gets the ball and lobs it off to Yoo Ju An, who has a defender in front of him. But the defender GIVES THE BALL TO YOO JU AN and Yoo can pass straight to the onrushing Ulsan Hyundai left footed striker Oh Se Hun – substituted like a minute before all this happens – who produces a wonderful left-footed strike to thwart the Guinea goalkeeper. That was truly the highlight of my day yesterday.
Here are the highlights + OSH’s goal
As well as the obligatory LSW ball touch vid:
I’ll add more details later today, but for now I gotta rush straight to the lab – so I’ll catch you guys later!