More News’ Kim Hyunsoo.
Earlier today, my team defeated Nigeria in the quarterfinals of the Under-20 World Cup to advance to the semifinals.
Three wins, two draws, five games unbeaten so far.
This is our second consecutive quarterfinal appearance after 2019.
Their quarterfinal opponent, Nigeria, was a powerhouse team that made it through the so-called “group of death” at the tournament.
They had beaten the hosts, Argentina, and even the favorite, South Korea.
The first 90 minutes were tightly contested.
In the fifth minute of the first half, Lee Seung-won’s corner kick led to Choi Seok-hyun’s header, which split the Nigerian goal.
Lee Kang-in took to his social media to congratulate the players and give them a round of applause.
Coach Kim Eun-joong was also in tears of joy.
[Kim Eun-joong, head coach of the U-20 national soccer team: “Actually, there were no expectations (from soccer fans) and there were a lot of concerns, and our players were also upset in that regard because they didn’t know much about our players… I want to thank our players, the 21 players.”]
As Kim said, the team did not have a high-profile player like Lee Kang-in at the tournament, and there was relatively little interest from soccer fans.
Nevertheless, the team showed a lot of ambition, saying that “the goal is to win the championship”.
And it looks like they’re getting closer to that goal.
There are many players who have made their presence felt at the U20 World Cup.
The players in Daejeon also stood out.
First, defender Bae Seo-Joon, who came on as a late substitute against Ecuador in the Round of 16 and saved a late goal.
Against Nigeria today, he showed his aggressive side, even taking a shot on goal.
He was also praised by FIFA for his performance in the last 16.
“Bae Jun-ho’s brilliant talent led Korea to the quarterfinals.” In fact, Bae Jun-ho played exceptionally well in the last two days, scoring one assist with a quick and accurate cross and one goal with a fierce attack.
[Lee Young-pyo/KBS Soccer Commentator/Last 2 days: “Lee Young-joon’s great move and finish after trapping was good, but this pass (from Bae Jun-ho) is beautiful.”] 안전놀이터
[Bae Jun-ho/UNDER-20 Korea National Football Team/2nd : “Since the qualifiers, I was injured and I felt very sorry for my teammates, so I played with the idea of playing hard rather than trying to do well, and I think it paid off.”]
Meanwhile, Daejeon Hana Citizen were left without Bae Jun-ho, but coach Lee Min-sung was supportive, saying, “Bae Jun-ho is a good player, and he will help (the U-20 team) go to the next level”.
He also praised Kim Eun-joong, saying, “He’s doing a good job for a first-time coach.”
In fact, in today’s quarterfinal match, Korea had one less day of rest than Nigeria, and Kim Eun-joong’s strategy was to focus on the second half of the game by bringing on Bae Joon-ho as a substitute, which seemed to take into account the difference in stamina.
The players responded and advanced to the quarterfinals.
Daejeon Citizen’s first-ever FA Cup victory was led by a living legend, Kim Eun-joong, who showed the human side of triumph by succeeding as a professional soccer player despite being blind in one eye. He was nicknamed “Sharp” for his sharpness and precision.
Let’s hope that he can expand his talents as a coach on the world stage.
Korea’s quarterfinal match at the U-20 World Cup is scheduled for this Friday at 6 a.m. local time against Italy.
Let’s hope the team can go beyond the quarterfinals and win the title.
Until now, it’s been ‘more news’.