Strong start helps Honduras secure draw with South Korea
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Strong start helps Honduras secure draw with South Korea

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MIAMI, Florida – A goal in each half-helped Honduras earn a 2-2 draw with South Korea in Group F action of the 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Thursday at the Estadio Malvinas Argentina in Mendoza, Argentina.

After a tough opening 2-1 loss to Gambia, Honduras came out for their second match of the tournament with a purpose and earned a penalty in the 21’ when Daniel Carter was fouled in the area.

One minute later, David Ochoa stepped up and calmly converted the spot kick to hand Honduras a 1-0 advantage.

Things would take a turn though just minutes later in the 27’, as Ochoa was sent off for a straight red card, leaving Honduras with 10 men for the duration.

Honduras were unfazed by the man disadvantage and doubled their lead to 2-0 in the 51’ on a curling right-footed strike from Isaac Castillo.

South Korea’s attack came to life after the second Honduran goal and it was level 2-2 after goals from Yonghak Kim in the 58’ and Seungho Park in the 62’.

But solid goalkeeping from Juergen Garcia allowed Honduras to get to full-time unscathed the rest of the way to secure the precious point.

Both the United States and Guatemala will play their group stage finales on Friday, beginning with the U.S. facing Slovakia in Group B at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario in San Juan.

The U.S. are in excellent position to reach the knockout stage after collecting two wins from their first two matches, a 1-0 triumph over Ecuador, followed by a 3-0 win versus Fiji in which Diego Luna starred with a goal and an assist.

A draw against Slovakia would be enough to secure not only a place in the Round of 16 but a first-place finish in the group.

Later that evening, Guatemala will try to keep their knockout round hopes alive in their Group A finale versus Uzbekistan at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario.

Guatemala narrowly fell 1-0 in their opener to New Zealand and hung tough in their second match against host nation before succumbing 3-0. However, a healthy victory against Uzbekistan could propel the Chapines into the top four third-place finishers.