“(Bae) Jun-ho and (Lee) Young-joon should score at least three more goals.”
Unico Madre de Ciudades stadium in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, where the FIFA U-20 World Cup Round of 16 match is being played today. After reaching the quarterfinals, Korea coach Kim Eun-joong, 44, looked at Bae Joon-ho (20-Daejeon) and Lee Young-joon (20-Gimcheon Sangmu) and said, “I put them together for a reason. They promised to score at least six goals together,” he laughed. They are sharing a room during the tournament. The “roommate extraordinaire” back-to-back goals, plus a goal from defender Choi Seok-hyun (20-Dankook University), gave South Korea a 3-2 win over Ecuador and a spot in the quarterfinals. With Japan and Iraq eliminated in the group stage and Uzbekistan stunned by Israel in the Round of 16, South Korea is the only Asian nation left in the competition.
This is the sixth time South Korea has finished higher than the quarterfinals at the U-20 World Cup, joining 1983 (fourth place), 1991 (quarterfinals – North-South single-team), 2009 (quarterfinals), 2013 (quarterfinals) and 2019 (runners-up). Their quarterfinal opponent is Nigeria at 2:30 a.m. on Friday. The Nigerians are coming off a 2-0 victory over host Argentina, who were the favorites to win the title, the day before.먹튀검증
Bae Jun-ho (1 goal, 1 assist) was the difference maker. Wearing the ace number (10), he dribbled to the front left of the opposition penalty box in the 11th minute, paused for a moment, and sent a cross with his right foot to Lee Young-joon in front of the opposition goal. Lee deftly trapped the ball with his chest before unleashing a powerful right-footed volley that found the back of the net. It was Lee’s second goal of the tournament after his header against France in the group stage on March 23. “I told Junho in advance, ‘I want a cross when I turn around in the back,’ and I’m glad that the play I promised worked out,” Lee said.
Bae Jun-ho took matters into his own hands next. In the 19th minute, he took a pass from right fullback Park Chang-woo (20, North Korea) and pretended to take a shot from inside the penalty box, then turned the ball around, fooled one defender and the goalkeeper, and slotted it home with his right foot. It was a moment of individual brilliance. After that, it was chase and chase. In the 36th minute, Park Chang-woo (20-North Korea Hyundai) grazed an opponent’s arm at the left end of the penalty box, causing the player to fall and the referee blew for a penalty. The players protested and went to the VAR (video assistant referee), but to no avail. 2-1.
South Korea’s Choi Seok-hyun celebrates after scoring the third goal during the round of 16 match between South Korea and Ecuador at the 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup at the Santiago del Estero stadium in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, Monday (Nov. 1). /Yonhap
However, three minutes into the second half, captain Lee Seung-won (20, Gangwon) sent in a sharp corner kick that Choi Seok-hyun headed home to make it 3-1. It was Lee’s fourth offensive point of the tournament (one goal, three assists) and Choi’s “penance goal” to make up for his late sending-off (accumulated cautions) against Honduras in the second group game. “It was painful to feel sorry for myself, but I was able to shake it off quickly thanks to my teammates,” Choi said. Ecuador recovered a goal in the 39th minute of the second half from a mix-up and pulled within 3-2, but they were unable to break through the Korean goal with their physical defense.
Bae Jun-ho, who plays for Daejeon, was expected to be the young gun of the K League and the technician for Kim Eun-jong-ho. However, he was unable to make an impact, missing the first leg of the group stage due to a muscle injury. Coach Kim gave him a special prescription: a “special lesson. On March 31, when the team arrived in Santiago del Estero for the round of 16 match, while the other players were doing recovery exercises, Bae Jun-ho was put through “hell training” until he collapsed on the field and screamed. “It was to improve my physical strength after not being able to play due to a muscle injury,” Bae said, “and thanks to that, I was in good shape for the round of 16. I was under a lot of pressure because I couldn’t show my skills in the previous matches, but I overcame it with the encouragement of my friends.”
Kim Eun-jung-ho The Young Warriors chant the phrase “one team” when they start training. This is to emphasize their strong sense of camaraderie. “We were able to win today because all 21 players were united, including the players on the bench and (Park) Seung-ho, who returned home after an injury against Honduras,” Kim said. The players held up the jersey (No. 18) of Park Seung-ho (20-Incheon), who dropped out due to injury, as they posed for a photo to commemorate the victory.