At the FIFA U-20 World Cup, our national team defeated Nigeria to reach the quarterfinals for the second consecutive tournament.
This is the fifth time Korean men’s soccer has finished higher than the fourth place in a ‘national’ competition organized by Fifa.
Reporting by Son Ki-Sung.
Playing cautiously with long striker Lee Young-joon up front, South Korea was pushed around by Nigeria throughout the match.
After holding on to a clean sheet with goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong making some good saves, the team was caught off guard by a set piece five minutes into extra time.
[Lee Young-pyo/KBS Soccer commentator: “It’s in~ Choi Seok-hyun, Choi Seok-hyun, Choi Seok-hyun, Lee Seung-won’s fourth assist, the trajectory of the kick is consistent, our players are in harmony.”]
As if promised in advance, Lee Seung-won’s kick to the near post was precise, and defender Choi Seok-hyun rose to meet it with his head.
It was almost a carbon copy of the final goal that defeated Ecuador in the Round of 16, as Lee Seung-won sent in a corner kick and Choi Seok-hyun headed it home.
After holding off a late fightback from Nigeria, South Korea won 1-0 and advanced to the quarterfinals.
Coach Kim Eun-joong was overcome with emotion after turning a group of players that no one had noticed before the tournament into a first-team squad.
[Kim Eun-jung, Head Coach of the U20 National Team: “I want to thank my players, the 21 players who overcame this (physical difficulty).”]
The players danced in the locker room as they celebrated another victory by excitedly splashing water on coach Kim Eun-jung.
With three wins and two draws from the group stage, and the only undefeated team in the quarterfinals, our players’ spirits are soaring.
With their eyes set on more than just the runner-up myth that their seniors achieved four years ago, the young Taegeuk Warriors will face Italy in the quarterfinals 메이저놀이터.