The Korean U18 national soccer team beat Ukraine 4-2 in the first round of the 2023 Seoul EOU Cup International Competition held at Mokdong Stadium in Yangcheon-gu, Seoul on the 10th.
Park Soo-bin (Pohang U19), Kang Do-wook (Bupyeong High School), Jungwoo Ha (Daedong Tax High School), and Baek Min-gyu (Pyeongtaek Jinwi FC) scored consecutive goals to end the great game.
There was an impression that transcended the fierce game of sports. Ukrainian players who entered on the day wore Ukrainian flags as they entered. Even when the Ukrainian national anthem was played, the players looked grim, meaning that they would “defend the country from war.”
As the game went on for 90 minutes, trumpets played from the stands. The Ukrainian audience played the Ukrainian national anthem. Korean fans were also moved beyond sports by the message, “No more wars.”
EOU (EARTH ON US), the name of this competition, means “Earth and community.” The slogan “ALL LIFE ON EARTH DEPENDS ON US” means the importance of a sustainable Earth through soccer.
Not only Ukraine at war, but also Morocco, which recently suffered from earthquake damage, participated in the competition. South Korea and Vietnam in Asia also participated in the event, becoming an international event. The organizers invite ambassadors from each country to hold a demonstration event every game.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Korea Dmytro Ponomarenko personally demonstrated the Ukraine game, adding meaning.
An official of the tournament said, “Ukrainian players could not even fly from their own country. We flew to Warsaw, Poland. The rest of the players had to come to Korea from different countries,” he said.
Ukrainian players did not come to Korea simply to play soccer. They wanted to convey their war situation to the world and deliver an anti-war message through soccer.