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Ecuador U20 ECU
Justin Cuero 35' (p),Sebastián González 83'
Corea del Sur U20 COR
Lee Young-Jun 10',Bae Jun-Ho 18',Choi Seok-Hyun 47'

Ecuador vs South Korea: summary: Bae Jun-ho, score, goals and highlights | FIFA U20 World Cup

South Korea beat Ecuador after an extremely dramatic game in Santiago del Estero to make it through to the quarter-finals.

Ecuador vs South Korea: as it happened

What a game!

That was a truly fantastic game of football, one full of great goals, hugely talented players and top-tier drama. 

South Korea will be pleased they showed both the skill to go ahead and the resilience to stay there,given how much Ecuador pushed them back, especially in the second half.

The South Americans showed huge mental strength not to see their heads drop after going two down twice, once in each half.

But it was the Asian side who just about managed to come out on top and it's hard to say they didn't deserve it, despite the onslaught at times that they were made to suffer.

South Korea battled well and showed moments of both collective and individual class that could see them go far in the tournament, if they can get past the huge challenge that is Nigeria.

My MVP award goes to Bae Jun-ho, Korea's number 10, who was superb throughout.

Commiserations to Ecuador

They were fantastic and have some wonderful players, but it was not to be against a resilient and talented South Korean side.

South Korea will play Nigeria in the quarter-finals.

Full-time in Argentina!


We're into the last minute...


A looping ball landed at his feet on the edge of the box and the attacker hit the volley towards goal that was saved well.

Páez's cross can't find Cuero and Korea clear the ball. Everyone is so tired and plenty of passes are now failing to find their target.

It's whipped in and cleared away, and now Ecuador can build again.

South Korea have a corner and a chance to run down the clock even further.

Minda's pass is sloppy and forces García to go in on Lee and give away a free-kick.

6 added minutes.

The ball was played left by Zambrano and crossed towards Cuero but the Korean defence were there to stab the ball away from the penalty scorer.


The cross was sailed over from the right and the header from Lee was thunderous and awkward, but Napa punched over the bar!


Korea have a free-kick near halfway and are, as you might expect, in no rush to take it.

Páez receives the ball from Zambrano but he is perhaps a bit too greedy, taking the shot on with plenty of attackers waiting patiently in the box.

Ecuador continue to attack and Korea have their backs against the wall. Five to go.

My, oh, my... you're braver than me if you want to call a winner in this game.

The corner was whipped in and headed down by García, but it was the substitute González who got the final touch to smack the ball past Kim!



And just like that, Ecuador break like 11 flashes of lightning and win a corner...


Cho gets in behind down the right and has the chance to play a pass across goal and seal the result but his cross is well saved by Napa.

Bae and Cho ON

Bae Jung-ho and Choi Ye-hoon OFF

Bae Jun-ho taps the ball through the legs of Minda and a huge number of people in the crowd make a collective 'wooo' noise that sounds like a Sea Lion stubbing its toe.

Ye-hoon Choi gets down well to stop Minda from burning past him and down the wing as Ecuador continue to push for a second goal.

Mina ON

M. De la Cruz OFF

Páez is booked and that means if the South Americans go through, he won't be avaiable.

A pull back from Korea almost see them extend their lead but Ecuador manage to clear the ball at the last second. The atmosphere is now extremely tense inside the stadium as we go into the last 15 minutes.

The ball broke into space down Ecuador's left and it was then played across goal to González, who saw his powerful shot blocked by a defender.

It landed back on the left and was sent in again where it was headed out by Cuero.

What a game!

And now Cuero heads wide!


That stopped a certain goal!

Twenty to go... don't look at the scoreline, this game is in the balance.

This is one of those games where a second referee might be an advantage - not because the game is particularly spicy, but because it is non-stop!

Mr Nation has had a fantastic game in charge.

Lee Chan-ouk ON

Park Hyeon-bin OFF

It's Chamba who almost makes an instant impact after he makes contact with a cross from Maiky De la Cruz's cross from the left. Blocked again.

Chamba ON

Klinger OFF

Another chance for Ecuador, who are officially 'on top' of things in this game now. South Korea's defenders are in a line of 5 and even 6, with their forward players increasingly happy to play on the counter as the watch on Mr Nation's wrist ticks down.

Oh, my, what sublime skill from Páez, who slides past his marker like a lubricated octopus. The winger then played a cross into the gaggle of various players in the box and it shot out away from goal, cleared by a defender.

Ecuador have Korea pinned back as Minda heads wide.

Just over half an hour to go.

Korea Republic have just dropped off a few yards... the game is, despite the goal difference on the scoreboard, very finely poised.

In-taek Hwang and Seong-jin Kang ON

Seung Won Lee and Yong-hak Kim OFF

Cuero does very, very well down the left, battling past various challenges before hitting a dangerous cross that is blocked by Choi Ye-hoon.

Napa collects a high cross from a Korea free-kick. González does well to launch a counter and the ball ends up with Páez... but it just rolls off his leg and out of play for a goal kick.

Hmm... Lee now appears to be suffering from a shoulder/collar bone injury.

Zambramo ON

D. De la Cruz OFF

The ball is crossed in well from the left by Maiky De la Cruz and it rollsagonisingly across the box as everyone stops to watch...

Dani De La Cruz gets forward down the right and is played in by Klinger, but his cross is sliced awkwardly and Korea recover the ball.

Lee Young-jun is back on his feet as we get underway once again.

Lee, Korea's number 9, is down with a head injury.

Páez tries to be the hero and hits an ambitious shot before Minda makes a bursting run into the box that is eventually cleared away.

Moments before, Kim Ji-Soo had the ball just yards out and swung a wild leg after it was knocked down across goal. It dribbled out for a corner instead and his centre-back partner took advantage of the set piece to restore their two-goal lead.

A corner is swung in and Choi jumps highest to spear the ball past Napa!





What a chance for Korea Republic to restore their two-goal lead!

Ordóñez goes in hard on Lee in the first minute, reminding him that he won't have it all his own way in the opening stages, like he did in the first half.

And we're off again!

Korea Republic get us going for what will be an intriguing 45 in Argentina.

García and Minda ON

Angulo and Valencia OFF

We're ready to go for the second half!

Here come the players!

Lee Young-jun has been South Korea's standout player

OK, it's between him and Bae Jun-ho, but the two have been excellent.

I must say that I agree completely

His run made sure Ecuador have a chance in this game, and some of his dribbling and close control has been nothing short of sensational.

Half-time report:

Well, predicting this one is anybody's guess.

The opening 20 minutes were all for South Korea; while Ecuador had some nice possession at the back, it was the Asians who made sure lightning struck twice in North Argentina with two brilliant goals. 

The first one came from Lee Youngjun, who took down a cross beautifully before smashing into the net from close range.

The goal shook the South Americans, who struggled to get a foothold on proceedings, and things were made worse when Bae Junho did his best Lionel Messi impression, squirming one way and then the other before firing a shot past Napa in the Ecuadorian goal.

From then on, the team in yellow slowly but surely managed to have more meaningful possession, taking the ball forward and pushing Korea back.

Kendry Páez's mazy run from deep gave them a just reward after he was judged to be pulled to ground by a defender, and, after a long VAR check, Cuero slid the ball into the goal.

Ecuador started to turn their possession into true domination and finished the half in the stronger position, despite the shaky start.


And that's all for now!

Back underway.

He looks OK to carry on, thankfully.

We've got an injury to Klinger, who went down under a challenge from Kim Ji-soo.

Páez is seriously special. Glue-on-his-boots football from the 16-year-old.

Ah, the referee has given a goal kick. Still, bravo to Cuero for his effort.

Cuero wins a corner after good persistence sees him win the ball from Choi Seok-hyon on the left side.

Maiky De la Cruz launches his body into the chest of the Korean captain, and Mr Nation goes over to the Ecuadorian to tell him to say sorry.

Cuero twists his body as the ball is lofted in by Angulo, making everyone (including myself) think that he is going for a spectacular overhead kick.

Alas, he doesn't, and South Korea clear the danger, but it's more attacking dominance from the team in yellow.

The ball ends up going out for a corner to Ecuador after delightful skill from Dani De la Cruz to get past his marker. The ball was sent into the box and cleared by Choi.

8 added minutes.

Korea are pushed back into their own box as Ecuador finish the half in the stronger position. However, we have seen how the Asian side can counter attack...


Páez and Klinger are over the ball...

Lee gets a telling off from Mr Nation as he tumbles into González in the middle of the pitch.

Páez breaks away and flicks the ball over the head of a defender before going down to ground, winning a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box.

Ecuador win a corner after nice work form González on the left side of the pitch.

The South Americans have been given a new sense of hope with that penalty goal from Cuero.

And now Ecuador attack!

Angulo, Cuero and Klínger, as well as Páez, all link up well on the edge of the box before a loose ball lands in the arms of Kim Junhong.

Lee Youngjun does fabulously well on the right wing and slides the ball through the legs of Valencia as he pops round the other side of him.

Unfortunately, there is nobody around to get on the end of his low cross that looked incredibly inviting.

Off we go again in a game that has sprung into life after a cagey start.

Down the middle! Game on!



Cuero steps up after a long, long wait.


At long last.

This is a very long VAR check. I don't know what the doubt is anymore...

Mr Nation is taking a look at the screen. The doubt seems to be whether or not the foul was inside the box.

The referee is going to the screen! Drama!

Still waiting...

Hang on, VAR is taking a longer look than expected.

It's Cuero to take...

A fantastic run from Kendry Páez from one end of the pitch to the other  ends when the player is pulled down by Park Chang-woo - and the referee has given the penalty!


The individual skill from the South Koreans is showing here; a delightful flick from Bae Jun-ho put the crowd instantly on their feet.

The ball was lofted over towards goal from the left and the striker saw the ball hit his shin instead of his boot... it could easily be more than 0-2.

Young-jun Lee almost gets a second!

A great catch of the cross from Jun-hong Kim. Fantastic goalkeeping.

Hyeon-bin Park blocks Maiky De la Cruz's cross from the left and Ecuador have a corner and a chance to remind the Koreans that they are still ready to fight.

Kim Yong-hak sends another warning to Ecuador after he fires a low drive from distance that skims the post. That was close.


Cuero gets the ball in the centre circle and spins 180 degrees, taking out the Korean midfield. He drives forward at speed and plays the ball left to Angulo, whose shot is dragged wide at the near post.

Chance for Ecuador!

Ecuador haven't been terrible by any means, but they have been torn apart by two lightning strikes from the South Korean outfit, who look ruthless.

We're back underway. Ecuador don't know what has hit them!

What a fantastic goal. Bae gets the ball on the edge of the box and his first touch with a flick of a hell takes the defender out of the game, setting him up for a 1vs1 with Napa.

Instead of shooting, Bae feints the other way and watches as both Napa and a charging defender slide past him, allowing the midfielder to smash the ball into the net!





South Korea go up the other end in a split second and force a save from Napa, but the referee blows for a foul in the counter-attack.

Páez fires wide after Klínger got on the end of a pass into the box and played the ball square. The South Korean defenders piled in front of the future Chelsea player and made sure the angles were all but blocked.


Ecuador look rattled and their opponents are finding spaces down both wings...

We're back underway and South Korea start in a flash, with Kim Yonghakn shooting over from distance.

Amazing! South Korea broke up the pitch and the ball was whipped to the far post by Bae where Lee was waiting. The striker took the ball on his chest and smacked a low volley into the far corner past Napa!





Maiky De La Cruz gets behind Choi and almost manages to slip a cross in but the defender does well to cover and clear the ball away.

Ecuador get the first smell of blood after some nice link up play between Angulo and Cuero on the edge of the box. The South Korean defenders manage to get the ball away at the last second before the winger can fire off what would be the first shot of the game.

Ecuador set off in attack and Klínger slides a pass past Kim at the back, almost allowing Cuero to get in behind.

Angulo gets on a long ball from the back as Ecuador switch things up in a flash, prompting both sets of fans respond with a round of songs and applause.

South Korea now have the chance to get on the ball in the opening minutes of the game.

70% of the ball so far for the South Americans, who are happy to play it around the back as South Korea sit off them.

It's a very cautious start from both sides.

It's a chess game in the opening stages: South Korea are choosing very specific moments to press, mainly every time Maiky De la Cruz gets the ball at left-back.

A couple of mis-kicked passes from the Ecuadorian players down the left almost see Lee, Korea's number 9, get in behind. De la Cruz scoops the ball away.

Ecuador start off the game with some calm possession at the back as Korea sit in a 4-2-4 mid-block.

And we’re underway in Santiago del Estero!

The final Round of 16 match has begun!

South Korea have decided to swap sides so it will be Ecuador who kick us off in a moment.

First up, the national anthems!

Ecuador, well played. The long introduction caught me off guard. What a finale.

Korea now: very slow and regal, a top effort. Even a military salute from a few of the players.

In other news, a butterfly has just landed on Kendry Páez's shirt.

The small boy carrying the ball out onto the pitch is wearing the longest short-sleeve shirt I've ever seen. It's like a night gown. Hilarious.

And here come the teams!

Here's a reminder of the starting XIs:


GK: Napa

DEF: De la Cruz, Valencia, Ordóñez, De la Cruz

MID: Zambrano, González, Páez

ATT: Cuero, Angulo, Klínger


South Korea: 

GK: Jun-Hong Kim

DEF: Ye-hoon Choi, Kim, Choi Seok-hyon, Park

MID: Hyeon-bin Park, Seung, Bae, Kim

ATT: Lee, Kang

We're almost ready to go!

The teams are in the dressing rooms for the final team talks.

Here's a photo from the last time the two sides met...

Recognise that happy face in the yellow shirt?

It's LaLiga's very own, GonzaloPlata!

The players are out for the pre-game warmups!

There is a nice atmosphere building inside the ground today and the players have been applauded as they make their way out onto the pitch at the Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades.

We've got around 20 minutes until kick-off to see who will take on Nigeria in the quarter finals!

And as for South Korea...

It's looking like a 4-4-2 for the Asian side tonight, but let's see how things play out on the pitch:

GK: Jun-Hong Kim

DEF: Ye-hoon Choi, Kim, Choi Seok-hyon, Park

MID: Hyeon-bin Park, Seung, Bae, Kim

ATT: Lee, Kang

Here's how Ecuador line up tactically:

So, we've got a 4-3-3 from Ecuador: the defence and attack are straight-forward. The flexibility lies with González, who will join Zambrano in a holding position as well as help Páez out with the attacking duties.

GK: Napa

DEF: M. De la Cruz, Ordóñez, Valencia, D. De la Cruz

MID: Zambrano, González, Paéz

ATT: Angulo, Cuero, Klínger

The fans are gathering!

The atmosphere around the ground is fantastic as it has just also hosted The Gambia's defeat to Uruguay. Let's hope the pitch is in a nice condition!

As for the weather in Santiago de Estero, it's quite cloudy but reasonably warm, so there shouldn't be any torrential atmospheric conditions for either the fans or players to deal with during the game.

Who's the ref?

The referee tonight is Oshane Nation.

The 32-year-old Jamaican has taken charge of two games so far in this tournament, including Uzbekistan 2-2- New Zealand and South Korea 0-0 The Gambia.

Here's how Ecuador line up:

It's a very strong XI from Miguel Bravo tonight!
PALMA DE MALLORCA, 07/01/2023. El centrocampista ecuatoriano del Valladolid, Gonzalo Plata (i), cae ante el defensa del Mallorca, José Copete, durante el encuentro correspondiente a la jornada 16 de primera división que disputan hoy sábado en el estadio de Son Moix, en Palma de Mallorca. EFE / Cati Cladera.

Cati Cladera / EFE

Have Ecuador and South Korea played each other before?

I can go even better than that: here's the last time they played each other at Under-20 level!

It was back in 2019, at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland. The two sides met in the semi-final stage and a goal from left-back, Jun Choi in the first half was enough for the Asian outfit to make it through to the next round of the tournament. 

Two LaLiga stars played that day: Gonzalo Plata is one, pictured above for Real Valladolid, and the other plays for Mallorca... it's Kang In Lee!
Gambia vs Uruguay summary: score, goals, highlights, FIFA U-20 World Cup

I know we've got the huge game of Ecuador vs South Korea to contend with, but you'll be pleased to know that the football never stops.

Here's the summary of Gambia vs Uruguay, which has just finished, with the winner setting up a quarter-final date against the USA.

Here is the Korean starting XI!

A whole host of changes for Korea who come out with a very different side to the one they used against The Gambia in the final group game.

The dressing room is ready!

Ecuador will be playing in their gorgeous yellow home kit, while Korea will be in a very fancy red kit.
Who is Kendry Páez? Chelsea agree deal to take Ecuadorian wonderkid to the Premier League

Who to watch?

Well, one name stands out: Kendry Páez.

The young Ecuadorian has agreed a move to Premier League side, Chelsea.

However, his current club, Independiente del Valle, will be able to keep hold of him until the teenager has turned 18, which means he won’tofficially join the Blues until the summer of 2025.

Check out the link above for everything you need to know about Kendry Páez and his move to Chelsea.
Ecuador vs South Korea: times, how to watch on TV, stream online | U20 World Cup

Want to watch the game today?

Well, it's not difficult at all. The only thing you have to do is click the link above and follow the simple steps. That way you can get the full picture as you watch along with our live commentary.

We're in for a cracking game, so make sure you don't miss it!
La Roja reconoció el terreno de juego del estadio Único Madre de Ciudades. Con capacidad para 30 mil personas, será el escenario del Argentina-Chile de este jueves.

Comunicaciones La Roja

Here's the stage for today's game:

The Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades opened in just 2021 and holds 30,000 fans.

It does not belong to any club in particular, but it was supposed to host some games during the Copa América that was eventually moved to Brazil due to COVID.
Argentina vs Nigeria summary: score, goals, highlights, U20 World Cup

The next step for the winner of Ecuador vs South Korea will face Nigeria, after their stunning win over a disappointing Argentina team, led by ex-Barça defender, Javier Mascherano. 

The African side defeated their South American opponents who exit on home soil in the first knockout round, but the talent of the Flying Eagles in not to be underestimated.
Honduras' David Antonio Ochoa (R) celebrates after scoring against South Korea during the Argentina 2023 U20 World Cup group F football match between South Korea and Honduras, at Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza, Argentina, on May 24, 2023. (Photo by Andres Larrovere / AFP)

Andres Larrovere / AFP

South Korea: how they got here

South Korea had a less spectacular group stage than their opponents today, finishing second on 5 points. 

Korea started off well, with what many called a shock win over France: goals in either half shocking the Europeans and started them off on a disastrous campaign. 

The second game was a crazy 2-2 draw against Honduras which saw red cards for both sides, with Choi Seok-Hyun sent off in the dying minutes after David Ruiz had been expelled in the first half of the game, just 5 minutes after putting his side ahead from the penalty spot.

Despite the red card, Korea Republic went 2 down and it took a lot of fight to claw back a vital point.

Their final game was against The Gambia, a nation that had surprised many with fantastic early performances from everyone, and Adama Bojang in particular.

0-0 was the final result yet it was South Korea who were forced to defend for the majority of the match, with the Asian side having little to no influence on proceedings.
AMDEP2191. SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO (ARGENTINA), 26/05/2023.- Alan Minda (i) de Ecuador celebra su gol hoy, en un partido del grupo B de la Copa Mundial de Fútbol sub-20 entre Ecuador y Fiyi en el estadio Único de Ciudades en Santiago del Estero (Argentina). EFE/ Juan Ignacio Roncoroni

Juan Ignacio Roncoroni / EFE

Ecuador: how they got here

Ecuador opened their Under-20 World Cup account with a loss to the USA: a late, late goal from left-back Gómez left La Tricolor with plenty of positives but no points on the opening match day.

Their misfortune quickly turned round in the next game, where they came back from a goal down to beat Slovakia 2-1, thanks to goals from Cuero and Klinger.

The American side dominated their European counterparts, and a fantastic performance from Zambrano in midfield showed those watching that the slim loss to a talented USA team was no fluke.

In the last game of their group stage, Ecuador came up against Fiji, and the team in yellow showed their class, winning 9-0 and having 40 shots.

They finished second in the group after the USA beat Slovakia in the final round.

It's Joe here, by the way, to guide you through the laughter and tears of today's game.


Hello and welcome to the live coverage from AS USA of the Under-20 World Cup.

Today, we've got the incredibly exciting game of Ecuador vs South Korea in the Round of 16.

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