South Korea's under-20 football team beat Ecuador 1-nil to reach the final of the under-20 World Cup, with Choi Jun scoring the only goal of the game in the 39th minute of the semi-final.
Now, the under-20 side faces Ukraine in the final, and has a chance to make history,… as Saturday's game is South Korea's first trip to any final at a men's FIFA tournament.
The only time in the past that any Korean side has reached a final of a FIFA tournament was in 2010 when the women's team won the U-17 World Cup.
To reach this far, head coach Chung Jung-yong has proven to be quite the tactician, and he's not been afraid to make significant adjustments, not just from match to match, but from one half to the next.
And the players have bought into whatever Chung has been preaching, and executed his plans almost perfectly.
"We have changed tactics accordingly by shifting from 4 at the back to 5 at the back. We were prepared for these things already. So depending on the situation, depending on whether we had to attack, counter, or defend, we shifted around our players to deal with our opponents."
Chung said he knew Ecuador weren't going to be easy opponents, though beating them 1-0 in a friendly match last month certainly helped with the players' confidence, and also helped Chung learn what their weaknesses are.
"As Ecuador are a very strong team, especially in attack, we thought we can take advantage of some chances if we defend well. Also we had a tuneup match before the tournament, so I think those preparations contributed to our victory today."
But Chung and the under-20s have been working on these tactics long before the start of the tournament.
"I handed out a tactical note to each player at last year's qualifying tournament. I shared our formation with the players and made them understand how they need to work it out as a team. And I think that image training before the actual tournament has helped them develop further."
So here they are now, one win away from the ultimate prize. And for this group of dazzling young players with a great technician as their head coach,… it is a real chance to make history.
Won Jung-hwan Arirang News.