Ukraine 1-0 Italy
Ukraine are bound for their first FIFA U-20 World Cup final after defeating Italy 1-0 at the Gdynia Stadium on Tuesday.
Serhii Buletsa and Yukhym Konoplia provided the moment of magic in the 65th minute. Ukraine’s No10 popped up in the penalty area to receive Konoplia’s low cross and steer it into the net from ten yards.
After a scoreless first half, Gli Azzurrini looked close to breaking the game open before falling behind. Roberto Alberico’s through ball in the 52nd minute split Ukraine’s central defence and left Andrea Pinamonti one-on-one with Andriy Lunin. But the Italy captain’s blast was aimed directly at Lunin’s chest and the goalkeeper comfortably blocked the attempt.
Ukraine nearly doubled their advantage seven minutes after taking the lead. Oleksii Kaschuk played Vladyslav Supriaha in on goal with a well-weighted chip but the forward dragged his shot inches wide of the far post.
Italy had the ball in the net one minute into second-half stoppage time, but Gianluca Scamacca’s apparent equaliser was waived off after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled that he had fouled Valerii Bondar while jostling for position in the penalty area.
South Korea 1-0 Ecuador
Korea Republic booked a first-ever ticket to the FIFA U-20 World Cup final with a 1-0 victory over Ecuador in Lublin.
The eastern Polish city will forever hold a special place for the Koreans, as it’s the same venue in which they defeated continental rivals Japan in the Round of 16.
Choi Jun scored the winning goal late in the first half, finishing off a well-worked free-kick.
Taegeuk Warriors star Lee Kangin split Ecuador’s defence with a perfectly-weighted through-ball, and Jun curled in a shot with his right foot past the outstretched arms of Ecuador goalkeeper Moises Ramirez.
Korea Republic’s goal came just a minute after Ecuador striker Leonardo Campana struck the crossbar after some brilliant footwork in the build-up. Then, in the final minute of stoppage time, Lee Gwanyeon made a save-of-the-tournament contender, parrying Campana’s close-range header wide.
The result means that Saturday’s final will be a first for both Korea Republic and Ukraine.
Third place play-off, Friday 14 June
Italy-Ecuador (Gdynia, 20:30 local time)
Final, Saturday 15 June
Ukraine-Korea Republic (Lodz, 18:00 local time)
By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde