“Again 2019.”

South Korea’s U-20 national soccer team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong (44), announced a good start at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. From the first game, he met Europe’s “orthodox powerhouse” France and was expected to face difficulties, but he created an unexpected victory. The national team, which used the myth of “second place” with “golden boy” Lee Kang-in (Mayorca) at the 2019 tournament in Poland, started its journey to write another history in this tournament held in Argentina four years later.스포츠토토

Provided by the Korea Football Association
The national team beat France 2-1 in the first Group F match against France at Mendoza Stadium in Argentina on the 23rd. South Korea tied for the lead in Group F with Gambia, which beat Honduras 2-1 in the same group. In the tournament, where 24 teams will be divided into six groups of four countries and play in the group stage, not only the first and second places in each group but also the third place in the group (4 countries out of 3rd places in 6 groups) can reach the round of 16. As South Korea beat France, the “candidate for the championship” of this tournament, it has increased its chances of advancing to the round of 16 as the top of the group. The national team will play its second group match against Honduras on the 26th.

South Korea succeeded in defeating the French giant for the first time in three games at the U-20 World Cup. The national team lost to France in both the U-20 group stages in 1997 and 2011, but finally succeeded in avenging itself.

France led the game with 57 percent of the ball possession. However, South Korea showed off ‘Silly Soccer’ properly. He neutralized France’s attack with his sticky defense and aimed for a goal with a counterattack aimed at the opponent’s backspace. His concentration to save the decisive opportunity shone.

Lee Young-joon (second from right), who shares the joy of goal, rejoices with his teammates after scoring in the first Group F match against France at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup at Mendoza Stadium in Argentina on the 23rd. Mendoza = AP Yonhap News
Captain Lee Seung-won (Gangwon) was the spearhead of the attack. He scored one goal and one assist on the day. He also scored the first goal in the 22nd minute of the first half. In a counterattack, Kim Yong-hak, who took over the ball from Kang Sung-jin, peeled off the opponent and broke through the midfield, and stabbed a sophisticated pass to Lee Seung-won, who was rushing to the gate. Lee Seung-won, who faced a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper, calmly aimed at the left side of the net and shook the net. It was a perfect counterattack that was completed in just 12 seconds with only two connections from our camp.

Lee Seung-won stepped up as a helper in the 19th minute of the second half. Lee Seung-won’s free-kick cross from the left was finished by Lee Young-joon (Kim Chun) with a header that only changed the direction, and South Korea led 2-0.

However, in the 25th minute of the second half, the national team allowed a run amid the referee’s dubious penalty kick decision. Goalkeeper Kim Joon-hong (Kim Chun), who was trying to punch the opponent’s cross, hit his face on the shoulder of the opponent’s striker who was rushing and collapsed, which the referee judged as Kim Joon-hong’s foul. The ball flowed without reaching Kim Joon-hong’s hand, and he was hit in the face, but it was an incomprehensible decision to declare a penalty.

However, Kim Jun-hong received a yellow card and France scored a comeback goal with a penalty kick. Despite this decision, the national team blocked France’s offensive until the end. The performances of defenders such as Kim Joon-hong, the “Sumunjang” who never allowed a field goal, and Kim Ji-soo (Seongnam), who played a hand-to-hand defense, also shone.

Lee Seung-won said after the game, “I will enjoy the joy of victory until today.” “We will prepare well in the remaining matches against Honduras and Gambia in our own color and try to show good performance,” he said. Head coach Kim Eun-joong said, “I prepared a counterattack defensively, but the players followed me well,” adding, “11 players played well systematically and I was able to win.”

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