Pathum Thani: Perennial rivals Korea Republic and Japan will put their best foot forward when they square off in the AFC U17 Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023 final at the Pathum Thani Stadium on Sunday.
The two teams have scored a staggering 34 goals between them with Korea Republic vying to end a 21-year wait to be champions at this age group level, while Japan are aiming to add the title to their record three AFC U-16 Championship crowns.
Pathum Thani: Lim Hyun-sub's wish for Korea Republic to play six matches in the AFC U17 Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023 has been realised and the midfielder now wants to cap their participation by lifting the title at the Pathum Thani Stadium on Sunday.
It has been 21 years since Korea Republic won the second of their AFC U16 Championship titles and Lim, 17, said the team are determined to end the long wait.
Pathum Thani: Japan’s goal scoring prowess has left a lasting impression during the course of the AFC U17 Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023 and a key player in the successful unbeaten run of the East Asian giants has been striker Rento Takaoka.
Having featured in every match so far, Takaoka has scored once and made two assists and ahead of the much-anticipated final, the 16-year-old is determined to do even more to ensure his team head to the FIFA U17 World Cup Indonesia 2023 as continental champions.
Know your Head Coach: Byun Sung-hwan (Korea Republic)
Pathum Thani: Korea Republic head coach Byun Sung-hwan had his wish granted when his team avenged their Qualifiers defeat to Uzbekistan in the semi-finals of the AFC U17 Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023.
Now, he has an opportunity to avenge another painful loss when the young Taeguk Warriors take on Japan in Sunday’s final at the Pathum Thani Stadium.
Byun, who saw his side lose to their East Asian rivals in a friendly earlier this year, admitted that he has been imagining defeating the young Samurai Blue to win the AFC U17 Asian Cup™ title since then.