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Home News FISU University World Cup Football: Men’s semi-finals prove to be tight in battles for spots in gold medal match

FISU University World Cup Football: Men’s semi-finals prove to be tight in battles for spots in gold medal match

30 October 2023

Men’s semi-final number one featured two teams making return appearances at the FISU University World Cup Football. Paulista University of Brazil, seventh place finishers in 2019, took on defending bronze medalists Myongji University of Korea, with both looking to get to this year’s final.

Paulista took control in the first 15 minutes with their best chance coming off a corner headed off the side of the post. Myongji wrestled away possession for most of the remainder of the half that was notable for strong defensive play by both sides and limited scoring opportunities.

Continued control of possession and persistence paid off for the Koreans in the 47th minute. Park Semin controlled a ball floated into the area and then put a shot high to the back of the net past sprawled Paulista keeper Diego Rodrigues Silva. With the 1-0 lead, Myongji continued to press but could not get that important second goal and in the 64th minute, brilliant dribbling in traffic by Guimaraes 10m from goal opened him up to fire a high, hard strike past keeper Lee Jaeyong to tie the match at 1.

Two late chances for Myongji’s Oh Dongwook brought them close to the final – an 83rd minute penalty kick kept out by Rodrigues Silva and a stoppage time header 3m out from goal that just sailed wide of target – but close was all they would get as the match went to penalties. In kicks, two saves and a hit cross bar by Myongji presented the opportunity for Paulista’s Wesley De Oliveira Ribeiro to put his team in the final. He would not miss, giving them the 4-2 win (3-1 in the penalty shootout) and a chance at a gold medal (above picture).

Paulista University (BRA) – Myongji University (KOR) 1-1 (0-0) PEN 3-1

Park (47’, 0-1), Guimaraes (64’, 1-1); Penalty Shoot out: Park (0-1), Miticov (1-1), Ja. Lee (1-1), Soares (2-1), Ju. Lee (2-1), Sales (2-1), Oh (2-1), Ribeiro (3-1).

State University of Trade and Economics (SUTE) of Ukraine took on defending FISU Cup Football champions University of the Republic (UdelaR) from Uruguay in the day’s second men’s semi-final. Following a poor turnover by UdelaR, SUTE got off to a quick start with a goal in the seventh minute as Oleg Lyga (above picture) set up Vitalii Varianyk for an easy tap in to make it 1-0.

Another poor touch by UdelaR in the 31st minute led to a turnover and a strike from distance by SUTE captain Denys Khrul that eluded UdelaR keeper Joaquin Garcia Marquez. Kruhl’s tournament leading fourth goal led to more pressure as SUTE followed that up with multiple wonderful opportunities to expand the first half lead but Garcia Marquez kept his team close with a couple excellent stops.

Arguably UdelaR’s best chance came in the 53rd minute when, following an initial corner, an unmarked Feipe Viera was unable to connect on a cross as he deflected it just wide from the side of goal. Despite another thwarted opportunity in the 81st minute off the foot of Joaquin Garcia Azpiroz, SUTE gave the title holders very little in the second half to secure the 2-0 victory and the second spot in the final.

State University of Trade and Economics (UKR) – University of the Republic (URU) 2-0 (2-0)

Varianyk (7’, 1-0), Kruhl (31’, 2-0)   2:0 (2:0)

The men’s final between Paulista University and State University of Trade and Economics will take place at Jinjiang Football Park Stadium on Tuesday 31 October at 12:30 CET. The bronze medal match, featuring University of the Republic and Myongji University match will go earlier that day at 8:00 CET. Both matches can be seen live on

Written by Doug McLean