Ukraine beat ROK to claim U-20 WC crown
16 Jun 2019, 21:25 ( 1 Month ago) | updated: 16 Jun 2019, 21:32 ( 1 Month ago)
Ukraine's under-20 national football team thrashed Republic of Korea (ROK) 3-1 in a thrilling final at the Lodz Stadium to win the FIFA U20 World Cup on Saturday.
South Korea took an early lead, with Lee Kang-in converting a fifth-minute penalty, but Ukraine's Vladyslav Supriaha, a Dynamo Kiev player, equalised in the 34th minute.
Early in the second half Supriaha was back in the Korean box for his second goal, with victory secured by a superb shot from Heorhiy Tsitaishvili in the 89th minute.
The victory marks Ukraine's first-ever gold in a FIFA U20 tournament. On top of that, the Ukrainians were the only team to remain unbeaten during the contest, which has seen 52 games across Poland over the last month.
They came top of a group which contained Nigeria, the USA and Qatar, before scoring victories over Panama, Colombia and then Italy.
At the end of the tournament, FIFA awarded Lee Kang-in the Golden Ball.
"This is an award for the entire team. We all played as one on the field," Lee told reporters. "I didn't think winning the Golden Ball would be that important to me. Our goal was to win the championship, and it's a shame we came up short. But I played as hard as I could, and I have no regrets."
Norwegian Haland was the top scorer, while Ukraine's Andriy Lunin was named the best goalkeeper. Japan took home the FIFA Fair Play Award.
The tournament is held every two years.