The South Korea U-20 national soccer team, coached by Kim Eun-joong, has gotten off to a strong start. The team faced a tough test in their first match against France, one of Europe’s “traditional powerhouses,” but they pulled off an upset with a win.
Kim Eun-Joong-ho scored back-to-back goals from Lee Seung-won (Gangwon FC) and Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon Sangmu) in the first match of Group F of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 at the Mendoza Stadium in Mendoza, Argentina, at 3:00 a.m. (KST) to win 2-1.
With the win, Korea moved to the top of Group F (1W, 3D) and advanced to the round of 16 for the second straight tournament. The Koreans narrowed the gap in their all-time series against France (U-20s) with two wins (3 draws, 4 losses). Notably, it was the first time they had defeated France in two matches at the U-20 World Cup in three years.
Kim Eun-Joong-ho will play his second group game against Honduras on Sept. 25. If they win, they will advance to the knockout stage. The U-20 World Cup features 24 nations divided into six groups of four, with the first and second place finishers advancing directly to the round of 16, followed by the top four finishers in each group.
Kim Eun-joong came out with a 4-4-1-1 formation. Lee Young-joon started up top, backed by Kang Sang-yoon (Jeonbuk Hyundai). The center backs were Kang Sung-jin (FC Seoul), Lee Seung-won, Lee Chan-wook (Gyeongnam FC), and Kim Yong-hak (Portimonense).
Bae Seo-joon (Daejeon Hana Citizen), Kim Ji-soo (Seongnam FC), Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University), and Park Chang-woo (Jeonbuk) formed the defense. Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon) wore the goalkeeping gloves. Park Hyun-bin (Incheon United), Bae Jun-ho (Daejeon), Lee Seung-jun (Seoul), Lee Ji-han (Freiburg), and Hwang In-taek (Seoul Eland) started on the bench.
Coach Kim Eun-joong said, “We prepared well. France is a strong team, but if the players are not nervous, I think we will have a good performance,” said Kim, “We need to be organized. We prepared with a focus on cooperative defense and quick offensive and defensive transitions, and it’s important that we do that well,” he said.
Kim Eun-joong-ho opened the scoring with the first shot on target. In the 10th minute, Lee Young-joon retained possession after a clever turn in front of the penalty arc, but his mid-range shot was blocked in front of goalkeeper Timothy Rotutala (Hull City).
After being outnumbered, Kim Jung-ho opened the scoring on the counter-attack. After defending a corner kick in the 22nd minute, Kim Yong-hak made a quick break, crossed the halfway line and slipped a forward pass to the other side, where the onrushing Lee Seung-won was on hand to slot the ball into the bottom left corner of the net from near the penalty area.
Kim Eun-jung-ho made a number of substitutions at halftime. He took off Lee Chan-wook and brought on Park Hyun-bin. Chances came soon after the change. In the fifth minute of the second half, Kim Yong-hak fired a left-footed shot straight at goalkeeper Rotutala after a tricky individual move inside the penalty box.
As the minutes ticked away, Kim Jung-ho pushed back into the game. In the eighth minute of the second half, Alan Birginius (LOSC Lille) shot was calmly saved by Kim Jun-hong. In the ninth and 12th minutes of the second half, Wilson Odobert (Troyes) had two sharp shots that went wide.
Kim Eun-jung-ho made another substitution to change the mood. In the 14th minute of the second half, Kim Yong-hak and Bae Seo-joon came off and Lee Ji-han and Hwang In-taek came on, and the changes paid off. In the 19th minute, Lee Ji-han won a free kick and Lee Seung-won’s cross was precisely redirected by Lee Young-joon with his head to split the goal 메이저사이트.
The joy was short-lived, however, as Kim Eun-joong-ho conceded a goal. In the 25th minute of the second half, a penalty kick (PK) was awarded after goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong committed a foul while punching the ball, and Birginius converted.
Kim Eun-jung-ho made another change. In the 29th minute of the second half, he took off Kang Sung-jin and introduced Choi Ye-hoon (Busan I-Park) to put more weight on the defense. After that, the team continued to be outnumbered, but they maintained their focus to the end and managed to hold on to their one-goal lead thanks to goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong’s saves, eventually winning 2-1.