ijinjiang.com, Nov. 30 -- The men’s semifinal of KELME 2019 FISU University World Cup–Football between University of the Republic and Myongji University of ROK, the only Asian team in the semifinal, kicked off last night in the stadium of Quanzhou Vocational and Technical University. The Uruguayan team scored twice in the first half and carried on with its superiority to the last second, earning the ticket to the final.
The Myongji University team, one of the best Asian university football teams, just experienced a hard-won victory two days ago over Bangkok Thonburi University of Thailand by penalty kicks. Yesterday, the team canceled their routine training program and spent the whole day recovering and preparing for the semifinal. The Uruguayan team, on the other hand, just defected the University of Malaga of Spain in the quarterfinal on 2:0.
The two teams swapped offenses and defenses since the first minute of the game. Myongji players relied on midfield passing to keep the situation under control, while the Uruguayan players of bigger sizes were more aggressive and rely on high passes and long kicks to offset the defense of their opponents. This strategy paid back in the 9th minute of the first half when the ball was relayed by the Uruguayan backcourt to its left midfielder, and then passed to the mid-front, until the Uruguayan striker Nicolas Ferreira (No.9) intercepted the ball from five meters off the box and hooked it right into the gate, striking the first goal during the match.
The game played on as University of the Republic carried on with its high kicks and counter-strikes and Myongji continued its control of the ball over coordinated short passes.
In the 37th minute, Myongji striker took the chance to show up at UdelaR’s empty gate, picking up the passing ball and made a shot. It is a near miss.
The UdelaR team retaliated in the 43rd minute after a swift push to Myongji’s half. Santiago Palomeque, the Uruguayan No.7, showcased his skillful dribbling from the left to the six-yard box, drifting by three Myongji defenders continuously with fake moves, and sent the ball right into the gate, scoring the second goal for UdelaR, ending the first half with 2:0.
Myongji in the second half picked up its pace and behaved more actively. In the 55th minute, Myongji managed to work out a near-miss header after marvelous crossing and dribbling from the left. Myongji kept on pressing up its offenses and attempted multiple shots, including several forceful long shots hailed by the audience. No.10 player and captain of Myongji, became the focus of the court with his vigorous dribbles and passes, leading his team into formidable offenses and keeping the opposing team half constantly in danger. But that didn’t earn the Koreans a scoring chance as the bigger Uruguayan players in defense became harder to tackle.
Although the second half of the match was dominated by Myongji, the Koreans never had a solid chance in front of the Uruguayan “wall”. The Uruguayan team scrambled a threatening counter-strike in the 82nd minute but failed when the score drifted off the gate. Nevertheless, the Uruguayans ended the game with two scores against none, securing their ticket to the final.
Although Myongji failed to move forward, it still proved itself to be a team with highly-trained skillful players branding fast movement and precision passing. But this, plus the rampant aggressiveness they showed during the second half, didn’t spare them from the defeat.