The Korean men’s soccer team under the age of 20 (U-20) led by coach Kim Eun-joong opened the dream stage with ‘Underdog Rebellion’.
Kim Eun-joong won 2-1 against France in the first match of Group F of the 2023 Under-20 World Cup group stage held at the Mendoza Stadium in Argentina on the 23rd (Korean time). France, a strong player who won the 2013 tournament and reached the semifinals in 2011, was considered the ‘top 1’ of Group F, which includes Korea, Honduras and Gambia, but was beaten by Korea. Korea, which took 3 points in advance, was tied for the lead with Gambia (2-1 win), who defeated Honduras on the same day.
The tactical choice of Kim Eun-joong, who faced the championship candidate, was a match that was right. France took the lead throughout the game, far ahead of Korea in possession (57-30) and number of shots (23-9), but failed to score points. Rather, Korea showed efficient management by blocking the back gate with the iron wall defense of two central defenders Kim Ji-soo (Seongnam) and Choi Seok-hyeon (Dankook University) and goalkeeper Kim Joon-hong (Kimcheon), and then competed equally in effective shooting (5-6).
In the 22nd minute of the first half, Kim Yong-hak (Portimonense) and Lee Seung-won (Gangwon)’s organized counterattack broke through the French goal, and in the 19th minute of the second half, Lee Seung-won’s cross and Lee Yeong-jun (Gimcheon)’s header wove the opponent’s ‘ I got Keio. France only managed to make up for one goal (Alan Virginius) with a penalty kick six minutes after conceding the second goal. Manager Kim Eun-joong commented after the game, “The players followed the prepared counterattack tactics well.”
This is the first time Korea has beaten France in an under-20 tournament. Korea lost 2-4 in Malaysia in 1997 and 1-3 in Colombia in 2011. Lee Yeong-joon, the protagonist of the winning goal, said through the Korea Football Association, “Since France is a candidate for the championship, we prepared a lot and were nervous.” I did a lot of set-piece practice, and it feels really good to score in a good situation.”
In addition, this match was also a bout that overcame the ‘European jinx’ of the 20-year-old national team. After beating Germany in the UAE in 2003 (2-0 win), Korea did not win a single match against a European team until the 2019 Poland tournament. The record during this period is 3 draws and 7 losses in 10 matches. Even in 2019, when Lee Kang-in (Mallorca) had his best performance (runner-up), he lost to Portugal in the group stage (0-1 loss) and failed to surpass Ukraine in the final (1-3 loss).
The Under 20 World Cup is a competition in which the futures of soccer in each country collide. It was through this tournament that Diego Maradona in 1979 and Lionel Messi in 2005 led Argentina to the top and carved their names into world football. According to FIFA statistics, 13 players from Argentina, the winner of last year’s World Cup in Qatar, and 10 players from Spain, the winner of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, came from this tournament.스포츠토토
The opportunity also came to the 21 members of Kim Eun-joong, who will carry the future of Korean soccer. Captain Lee Seung-won, who played the role of an ace with 1 goal and 1 assist in the match, said in an interview after the game, “I will enjoy the joy of victory only until today because I have to win all the points (for the remaining games) and go up (to the round of 16).” .
Korea will play the second game against Honduras at 6 am on the 26th.