Like Lee Kang-in four years ago, Ecuador’s 16-year-old Kendry Paez is one of the hottest talents in the world. Ecuador will look for revenge against South Korea with Paez leading the way.
South Korea and Ecuador will meet in the round of 16 of the FIFA U20 World Cup at the Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, at 6 a.m. ET on June 2.
Drawn in Group F with France, Honduras and the Gambia, South Korea advanced to the round of 16 with one win, two draws and no losses. They defeated France 2-1 in the first round, then drew with Honduras and Gambia.
Ecuador was in Group B with the United States, Slovakia, and Fiji, and also finished second in the tournament. They lost 0-1 to the United States in the first round, but rebounded with wins over Slovakia and Fiji to secure second place. In their third game, against Fiji, they scored a whopping nine goals.
South Korea and Ecuador met in the semifinals of the last tournament in Poland. Choi Joon scored the game-winning goal in the 39th minute off of Lee Kang-in’s deflected 메이저놀이터 free kick to take down Ecuador. Ecuador dominated the game with six shots on goal, but were denied a spot in the final by a combination of bad luck and a stellar save from Lee Kwang-yeon.
Ecuador will be looking for revenge ahead of this matchup. ESPN Deportes published an article titled “Ecuador U20 team must learn from its mistakes against South Korea in 2019” on March 30. “The current Ecuadorian team has a kind of vendetta against South Korea. We are sure they have learned well to avoid repeating basic mistakes.” The article also highlighted Lee Kang-in’s free kick four years ago, when Gonzalo Plata passed to Choi as soon as his back was turned.
Leading Ecuador’s revenge is Kendry Paez, 16, who, like Lee, traveled to the tournament with his older brothers. Paez was born in 2007, but his talent earned him a spot on the U20 squad. He has already been linked with a move to Chelsea in the English Premier League (EPL) in 2025. He is a left-footed player like Lee Kang-in and has been described as an “all-time great talent” for his dribbling, kicking, and other strengths.
In this tournament, he started all three group stage games. He also played a crucial role. In the second game against Slovakia, he set up Justin Cuero’s equalizer with an intelligent left-footed pass. In the second half, he hit the crossbar with an outstretched left foot. This was followed by a fantastic mid-range strike from José Andrés Klinger Sosa to give Ecuador the win. In the final, against Fiji, Paez broke into the penalty area and finished with his right foot to open the scoring. With the goal, Paez became the youngest player to score at the U20 World Cup.
Ecuador is one of the favorites to win the tournament. At the center of it all is Ecuador’s Lee Kang-in. He’s one of the players South Korea should be most wary of