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Jul 31, 2021 at 12pm UK
South Korea U23sSouth Korea Under-23s
Mexico U23sMexico Under-23s
Lee (20', 51'), Ui-jo (90+1')
Jeong (34'), Yoon-Sung (38'), Won (49')
FT(HT: 1-3)
Martin (12', 54'), Romo (30'), Cordova (39' pen., 63'), Aguirre (84')
Vasquez (32'), Sanchez (76'), Angulo (90')

Preview: South Korea Under-23s vs. Mexico Under-23s - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: South Korea Under-23s vs. Mexico Under-23s - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Olympic Games Men's Football clash between South Korea Under-23s and Mexico Under-23s, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

South Korea Under-23s take on Mexico Under-23s in the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games on Saturday, with both teams aiming to reach the semi-final of the competition for the second time in their respective histories.

South Korea earned the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, with Mexico beating Brazil in the final to win gold in the same year.

Match preview

After losing 1-0 to New Zealand in their opening match of this year's Olympics, South Korea magnificently bounced back to win both of their ensuing matches and qualify as Group B winners.

Kim Hak-bum's side achieved the feat in some style, too, thrashing Romania 4-0 and Honduras 6-0 to seriously lay down a marker as potential winners this year in Tokyo.

Having missed a series of decent chances in the defeat to New Zealand, Kim's attackers clearly used this as motivation to inflict misery on their next opponents, but the 61-year-old will be hoping that they have not already peaked ahead of a tricky test against Mexico.

However, given that some of Mexico's most talented youngsters are competing for the senior team in the Gold Cup, the Asian side will sense a serious opportunity to reach the final four for the second time in three Olympics.

Indeed, having been drawn in a group alongside the hosts Japan and world champions France, Mexico have done magnificently well to reach this stage under the circumstances.

As already alluded to, head coach Jaime Lozano's hand has been limited by the fact that the senior side are involved in the Gold Cup, which it would be fair to say has largely taken priority in the eyes of the Mexican Football Federation.

As such, Mexico perhaps lack the strength in depth which they boasted in their triumphant 2012 campaign, although they have been able to call upon experienced goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa - who has 114 senior caps - as one of their three over-age players.

However, El Tricolor still managed to thrash France 4-1 and South Africa 3-0 either side of losing to hosts Japan 2-1 to progress to the knockout stages, and they will fancy their chances against South Korea, whom they gained as many points as despite being in a tougher group.

South Korea Under-23s Olympic Games Men's Football form:
  • L
  • W
  • W

Mexico Under-23s Olympic Games Men's Football form:
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

For South Korea, Kim's main decision could be whether to opt for a 4-4-2 formation or the 4-1-4-1 system which worked to great effect last time out against Honduras.

Should he side with the latter as expected, Lee Kang-in may have to wait to enter the game as a substitute once again, having scored three goals in his last two appearances from the bench.

Mexico, meanwhile, will be without the suspended Carlos Rodriguez after the midfielder received a straight red card against South Africa.

Jose Esquivel is likely to come into the middle of the park in his place, with Henry Martin and Alexis Vega continuing in attack after both scoring last time out.

South Korea Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Bum-Keun; Young-woo, Tae-uk, Ji-soo, Yoon-sung; Du-jae; Dong-jun, Jin-kyu, Chang-hoon, Jin-ya; Ui-jo

Mexico Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Lorona, Montes, Angulo, Sanchez; Romo, Esquivel, Cordova; Antuna, Martin, Vega

We say: South Korea Under-23s 2-2 Mexico Under-23s

There appears to be very little to split these two sides, so we can envisage it going the distance.

Both sides possess plenty of attacking quality, so it should be an entertaining quarter-final for the neutrals.

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