‘I saved Kim Eun-jung-ho…’ Park Seung-ho’s ankle fracture Korea-bound, ‘up to the point of delay’ against Ecuador

Striker Park Seung-ho (20-Incheon United), who scored a dramatic equalizer against Honduras to propel South Korea to its third consecutive Under-20 World Cup round of 16, has pulled out. It was an unexpected injury.

The Korea Football Association announced on Tuesday that Park Seung-ho, who injured his right ankle after scoring in South Korea’s Group F match against Honduras at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 in Mendoza, Argentina, on June 26, has been deemed unable to play in future matches and will return home.

Park scored a celestial equalizer in the 17th minute of the second half to make it 1-2 against Honduras, but the injury was too much.

Park, who was diagnosed with a fractured ankle, is expected to arrive at Incheon International Airport on the afternoon of the first day of next month. The Football Association explained, “According to the medical staff dispatched to Argentina, Park Seung-ho is expected to be able to play in five to six months if he completes surgery and rehabilitation well.” It’s practically a season out in the K League.

After beating France 2-1 in the first 스포츠토토 round, Kim Eun-jung-ho came back from a 2-2 draw against Honduras despite being outnumbered. Without Park Seung-ho, South Korea finished second in the group with a 0-0 draw against Gambia.

South Korea will face Ecuador in the Round of 16. Ecuador also finished second in Group B. This is a team that South Korea has fond memories of. They met Ecuador in the quarterfinals of the 2019 tournament in Poland and beat them 1-0 to reach the final.

They will need to focus more on defense. Ecuador has scored a whopping 11 goals in the group stage of this tournament. That’s the most in the group stage. They lost 0-1 to the United States in the first round, but rebounded with a 2-1 win over Slovakia and a 9-1 demolition of Fiji in the second round.

South Korea leads the U-20s 3-1 in the all-time series, but Park’s sudden departure adds another layer of concern.

South Korea is scheduled to play Gambia in Mendoza on Sept. 29 and then travel to Ecuador for the round of 16 match at 6 a.m. on Nov. 2, which will be somewhat disruptive, the federation said.

The team was scheduled to depart for Santiago del Estero, where the round of 16 match will be held, at 3 p.m. local time on Sept. 29, but the flight was pushed back to 10 a.m. on Sept. 30 due to problems with the arrangements for the charter flight provided by FIFA. “Several countries, including Gambia and Italy, have also been informed that their departure times are being changed due to charter issues,” the organization added.

Can South Korea overcome the adversity to reach the quarterfinals, the semifinals, or even higher? Head coach Kim Eun-joong’s shoulders are getting heavier.

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