South Korea will play Honduras first in an international football tournament created as a test event for the upcoming U-20 World Cup, the local organizing committee of the FIFA competition said Friday.
The South Korean organizers previously said they will host the four-nation football tournament this month to test their readiness ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will run from May 20 to June 11. The invitational tournament features host South Korea, Zambia, Honduras and Ecuador, all participants of the U-20 World Cup.
In a draw held Wednesday, South Korea ended up in Group A with Argentina, England and Guinea, in what many feel is the proverbial "Group of Death." Zambia is paired with Portugal, Costa Rica and Iran in Group B, while Honduras is in Group E along with France, New Zealand and Vietnam. Ecuador is one of the four teams in Group F that includes the United States, Senegal and Saudi Arabia.
The local organizers said South Korea will open the tournament with Honduras in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, on March 25, and will take on Zambia two days later in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province.
The U-20 team will face Ecuador and wrap up the tournament in Seogwipo on Jeju Island on March 30. All of these matches will start at 7 p.m.
All three venues of the tournament are also the host cities for the U-20 World Cup, along with Incheon, Daejeon and Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. The organizers said the tournament will be operated as a "doubleheader," meaning two matches will be played consecutively at the same stadium in one day, same as the U-20 World Cup group stage.
South Korean head coach Shin Tae-yong previously said he will assemble his players on Sunday at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul in Gyeonggi Province to prepare for the tournament. The upcoming South Korean camp will include a pair of FC Barcelona youth players: Paik Seung-ho and Lee Seung-woo. Both made strong impressions during the January camp in Portugal. (Yonhap)