Kim defeats Ecuador 3-2, sets up quarterfinal clash with Nigeria

Kim Eun-Joong will lead South Korea into the World Cup quarterfinals.
The South Korea Under-20 Football Team, led by head coach Kim Eun-Joong, won their round of 16 match against Ecuador 3-2 at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Estadio de Santiago del Estero in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, at 6:00 a.m. ET today.

South Korea, who finished second in Group F with one win and two draws (five points), advanced to the round of 16 for the second consecutive time since the 2019 tournament in Poland. They will face Nigeria in the quarterfinals at the same venue on May 5 at 2:30 am.

South Korea’s best eleven against Ecuador featured Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon Commerce) up front, with Bae Jun-ho (Daejeon Hana Citizen) and Kim Yong-hak (Portimonense) in attack. Kang Sang-yoon (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Lee Seung-won (Gangwon FC), and Park Hyun-bin (Incheon United) formed the midfield. Park Chang-woo (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Kim Ji-soo (Seongnam FC), Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University), and Choi Ye-hoon (Busan I-Park) formed the back four. The goalkeeper’s gloves were worn by Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon Commerce).

In the early stages of the match, it was South Korea who broke the balance of the game.

In the 11th minute of the first half, South Korea attacked on the counterattack and took advantage of Park Hyun-bin’s change of direction pass. Bae Joon-ho, who was carrying the ball on the flank, sent in a cross that Lee Young-joon calmly received with his chest and rattled the net with a straight volley.

With momentum on their side, South Korea added another goal in the 18th minute. Park Chang-woo’s pass was met by Bae Joon-ho in the center of the box, who took a deft touch to beat one defender. As the Ecuadorian goalkeeper was about to come out, he faked a shot and calmly slotted the ball into the right side of the net to complete the scoring. Bae Jun-ho was in top 안전놀이터 form with one goal and one assist.

South Korea’s offensive momentum was short-lived. In the 32nd minute, Park Chang-woo tried to stop an opponent’s attack and tripped his opponent with his hand inside the penalty box. After a lengthy video assistant referee (VAR) review, the officials awarded a penalty kick. Justin Cuero stepped up to take the spot kick and perfectly fooled Korean goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong. The score was 2-1.

After the goal, Ecuador’s game came alive. South Korea tried to counterattack, but the Ecuadorian offense was stopped and the first half ended.

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