I’m Kim Hyun-soo.
Earlier today, my team defeated Nigeria in the quarter-finals of the Under-20 World Cup to advance to the last four.
Three wins, two draws, five games unbeaten so far.
This is our second quarter-final in a row, after 2019.메이저사이트
Their quarter-final opponents, Nigeria, were the favourites, coming through the so-called ‘group of death’ at the tournament.
They had even beaten the hosts and favourites, Argentina, before facing South Korea.
The match went into extra time after a tightly contested first 90 minutes.
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 social media to congratulate the players and give them a round of applause after the game.
Coach Kim Eun-joong was also in tears of joy.
[Kim Eun-joong, U20 coach: “Actually, there were no expectations (from football 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 Eun-joong said, the team did not have a high-profile player like Lee Kang-in at the tournament, and there was relatively little interest from football 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 stood out at the U20 World Cup.
The players in Daejeon also stood out.
Firstly, defender Bae Seo-Joon, who came on as a late substitute against Ecuador in the Round of 16 and saved a late goal from the opposition.
Against Nigeria today, he showed his aggressive side, even attempting a shot on target.
He was also praised by FIFA for his performance in the last 16.
“Bae Jun-ho’s brilliant talent led Korea to the quarter-finals.” In fact, Bae Jun-ho was outstanding 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 Football 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.”]
[Bae Jun-ho/Under-20 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 U20 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 quarter-final 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, bringing on Bae Joon-ho as a substitute, which seemed to take into account the difference in stamina.
The players responded in kind, advancing to the quarter-finals.
Daejeon Citizen’s first ever FA Cup victory was led by a living legend, Kim Eun-joong, who showed the human side of triumph when he succeeded as a professional footballer 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 quarter-final match at the U20 World Cup is scheduled for this Friday, 6am local time, against Italy.
Let’s hope the team can go beyond the quarter-finals and win the title.