Choi Seok-hyun’s stoppage-time header…South Korea writes ‘final four myth’ for second straight U-20 World Cup

South Korea’s U-20 World Cup team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong (44), has made it to the quarterfinals for the second time in a row.

South Korea defeated African powerhouse Nigeria 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, on Friday (June 5) thanks to a header from defender Choi Seok-hyun in the first minute of extra time. South Korea, the only Asian team to reach the quarterfinals of the tournament, made a statement of pride for Asian soccer by reaching the last four for the second consecutive time after finishing runners-up in Poland in 2019.

It is only the third time South Korea has finished higher than fourth at the U-20 World Cup after finishing fourth in 1983 (fourth place) and runner-up in 2019. Kim Eun-jung-ho will face Italy, who have reached the final four in three consecutive tournaments, at 6 a.m. on Sept. 9.

South Korea will play Lee Young-joon up front with Kang Sung-jin and Kim Yong-hak supporting him on the flanks. Lee Seung-won, Kang Sang-yoon, and Lee Chan-wook lined up in the midfield, while Bae Seo-joon, Kim Ji-soo, Choi Seok-hyun, and Park Chang-woo formed the back four from the left. Kim Jun-hong wore the goalkeeping gloves. Kim Eun-joong chose a more defensive-minded starting 11 compared to the quarterfinal against Ecuador.

The game was tightly contested. Both teams played cautiously in the early stages, wary of counterattacks and looking for chances. Overall, Nigeria dominated the offense. They used the speedy Jude Sunday to get past the Korean defense. In the 29th minute, Victor Eletu’s sharp shot was saved by goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong. On the ensuing corner kick, Salim Rawal’s header went wide of the goal.

Rather than aggressively attack, South Korea focused on defense and kept the Nigerian attack at bay. South Korea had a chance in first-half stoppage time when left-back Bae Seo-Joon fired a powerful shot from the left side of the penalty area that was cleared off the line. In the first half, Nigeria had seven shots and Korea had two. Nigeria won the ball possession battle with 46% to Korea’s 31%.

In the second half, Kim Eun-joong brought on Bae Joon-ho, who had one goal and one assist in the round of 16 against Ecuador.

In the fifth minute of the second half, Nigeria’s Daniel Bamayi’s shot was saved by Kim Jun-hong. In the 14th minute, Lee Young-joon’s sharp mid-range shot went just over the bar. Toward the middle of the second half, Korea and Nigeria exchanged hard attacks. In the 22nd minute, Kim Eun-jung took off Kim Yong-hak and brought on Lee Ji-han in an attempt to shake things up. In the 28th minute, Kim Ji-soo and Bae Seo-joon came off and Hwang In-taek and Choi Ye-hoon entered the defense.

Both teams continued to attack diligently until the end of the half, but to no avail. Nigeria had 15 shots in the first half, while Korea had three.

South Korea faced their first overtime of the tournament. Another goal came from a set piece, a surefire way to score for Korea.

In the fifth minute of the first overtime, Choi Seok-hyun headed in a corner kick from Lee Seung-won to find the back of the net. Choi Seok-hyun, who headed in a corner kick in the Round of 16 against Ecuador to send Korea to the quarterfinals, confirmed his status as a ‘goal-scoring defender’ with another header. Goal in two consecutive games.먹튀검증

Captain Lee Seung-won recorded his fifth offensive point (1 goal, 4 assists). South Korea has scored four goals from set pieces in the tournament. Three from corners and one from free kicks.

After conceding a goal, Nigeria came out firing on all cylinders. South Korea’s tenacious defense kept the Nigerians at bay. The final whistle blew, and the players hugged each other in celebration of advancing to the quarterfinals.

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