Chung credits Korea Republic's success to development efforts
Lublin: Head coach Chung Jung-yong believes the concerted effort being made to develop youth football in Korea Republic is beginning to pay handsome dividends after the East Asians beat Ecuador 1-0 on Tuesday to reach their first-ever FIFA U-20 World Cup final.
Choi Jun’s neat 39th minute finish helped seal his side’s place in Saturday’s title showdown with Ukraine as Korea Republic – after losing their opening match to Portugal – recorded a fifth successive victory at the global extravaganza in Poland.
The win represented another memorable moment for the Koreans at a tournament where they have shone brightly, with a clearly delighted Chung adamant that, given the undoubted progress being made, there is still more to come from his talented charges.
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"I've been coaching youth football for more than 10 years, and I feel like some sort of a system is finally taking shape," he said.
"Reaching the [FIFA U-20 World Cup] final represents an upgrade for football in Korea Republic, and I am glad that we are here competing against the best of the world.
"Before the tournament, the players had a chance to learn what they were supposed to do, and they have been improving as the tournament has progressed.
“These players will reach even greater heights. After this tournament, you'll see these players take an extra step or two forward in their growth."
Reflecting on the game which propelled Korea Republic into the final, Chung declared that last month’s 1-0 friendly win over the Ecuadorians played a vital role in his side’s success.
"Of course, every team in the semi-finals has their own strengths, but after playing Ecuador in that earlier match, we were able to identify some of their weaknesses," he explained.
"They sat back a bit in defence, and I felt we could dictate the pace early on. It worked out great and led to our first goal, and then we tried to protect the lead in the second half.”
Ukraine v Korea Republic (Lodz Stadium, 18.00 local time)
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