Finishing in fourth place at the FIFA U20 World Cup, our players completed a long three-week journey.
After an indifferent start, the 21 players surprised everyone by unleashing their potential.
Before the tournament began, the most famous person on the U-20 team was coach Kim Eun-joong.
[Kim Eun-joong, head coach of the U-20 national team/February: “We don’t have such a (famous) player yet, but I think it can be a strength, and if we go to the tournament, I think we will have an ace on our team…”]
The under-the-radar Taegeuk Warriors staged a delightful uprising, demolishing powerhouse France in their first game.
Captain Lee Seung-won, who showed off his dazzling right foot, and goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong, who put on a show of saves, were the stars.
After breezing through the group stage with draws against Honduras and Gambia, the team found a star in Bae Jun-ho in the round of 16 against Ecuador.
In a tournament where it was a lose-lose situation, the goal-scoring defender scored crucial headers in crunch time.
The unsung Taeguk Warriors finally made a name for themselves by reaching the quarterfinals.
Coach Kim Eun-joong’s tactics of playing from behind, decisive set pieces, and practical football shone through.
[Kim Eun-joong, head coach of the U-20 national team, after the quarterfinal win: “I want to thank my players, the 21 players…”]
And the day they were stopped by an Israeli surge and finished in fourth place.
Each name that the Argentinians wrote down was filled with emotion.
Among them, Lee Seung-won, who surpassed Lee Kang-in’s record from four years ago with three goals and four assists, was awarded the Bronze Ball.안전놀이터
It’s an honor given to the third best player in the tournament.
[Lee Seung-won, U20 National Team: “I feel like I’ve received good luck and will try to become a player who can contribute to Korean football.”]
With a performance that exceeded expectations and a spot in the quarterfinals, Kim Eun-Joong Ho has further revealed the future of Korean soccer.
I’m Lee Jun-hee from KBS News.