A message of peace that transcends soccer resonated with fans.

The Korea U18 national soccer team defeated Ukraine 4-2 on Tuesday at Mokdong Sports Complex in Yangcheon-gu, Seoul, in the first round of the Seoul 2023 EOU Cup International Tournament.

Park Soo-bin (Pohang U19), Kang Kang-wook (Bupyeong High School), Ha Jung-woo (Daedong Semugo), and Baek Min-kyu (Pyeongtaek Jinwi FC) scored consecutive goals to seal the victory.

There was a feeling that transcended the fierce sports competition. The Ukrainian players wore Ukrainian flags as they entered the stadium. Even when the Ukrainian national anthem was played, the players’ faces showed their determination to “defend their country from war.”

Ninety minutes into the game, trumpets blared from the stands. The Ukrainian crowd was playing the Ukrainian national anthem. The message of “no more war” moved the Korean fans beyond sports.

The name of the tournament, EOU (EARTH ON US), means ‘Earth and Community’. The slogan, “ALL LIFE ON EARTH DEPENDS ON US,” is meant to promote the importance of a sustainable planet through soccer.

The tournament was attended not only by the war-torn Ukraine, but also by Morocco, which recently suffered an earthquake. Asia’s South Korea and Vietnam also participated, making it an international event. The organizers have invited ambassadors from each country to kick off each game.

For the Ukraine game, Ambassador of Ukraine to Korea Dmytro Ponomarenko personally opened the game.스포츠토토

“The Ukrainian athletes couldn’t even get on a plane in their own country. The main team traveled to Warsaw, Poland, and flew in. The rest of the players had to fly to Korea from other countries.”

The Ukrainian players didn’t just come to South Korea to play soccer. They wanted to use soccer to tell the world about the situation in their country and send an anti-war message.

Meanwhile, the EOU Cup has come full circle. Strong favorites Korea and Morocco, who are tied with one win apiece, will face each other at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 in Mokdong.

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