Waffled by Belgium 2-0, South Korea eliminated from U17 World Cup

October 28, 2015
Lee Seung-woo, right, and Lee Sang-min walk off the field after a disappointing loss to Belgium. (Yonhap)

Lee Seung-woo, right, and Lee Sang-min walk off the field after a disappointing loss to Belgium. (Yonhap)

By Brian Han

South Korea got knocked out of the World Cup stage by Belgium again.

South Korea seemed frustrated more than anything else during their 2-0 loss to Belgium in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Round of 16 in Chile Wednesday, despite breezing through the group stage without allowing a goal.

South Korea’s young guns played aggressively from the onset, but the strategy didn’t quite pay off. The team had trouble controlling the ball resulting in short possessions and errant passes. Belgium left very few holes in their defense making it even more difficult for their opponents to find scoring opportunities.

Belgium’s offense took a more calculated approach, focused on moving the ball around with precision as they waited for chances to attack.

The South Korean team let their guard down in the 11th minute when midfielder Jorn Van Camp blew past defenders to score the game’s first goal.

South Korea’s players came out with a greater sense of purpose in the second half as they were able to quickly get off two shot attempts, which tripled their total from the first half.

But Belgium quashed the momentum in 67th minute with a goal from striker Matthias Verrett.

In the 70th minute, Laurent Lemoine received a red card for tackling midfielder Oh Se-hun with his arms giving the South Koreans a chance to halve the lead.

The highly touted 17-year-old striker Lee Seung-woo, however, couldn’t convert the penalty kick into a goal.

It didn’t matter that Belgium played with 10 men for the rest of the match. South Korea managed to get six more shot attempts after that point, but the majority of them weren’t on target anyway.

Belgium will move on to the quarterfinals, while South Korea will have to pack their bags and head home. The South Koreans were also sent home packing from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil by the Belgians.