The delightful rebellion of the unexpected ‘Valley Generation’… I look forward to their growth more

‘Kim Eun-joong-ho’ did not raise high expectations, but he gave a glimpse of the bright future of Korean soccer by producing results that exceeded expectations.

The Korean U-20 national team, led by coach Kim Eun-joong (44), held the 2023 FIFA Argentina U-20 World Cup against Israel at Estadio Unico Diego Armando Maradona in La Plata, Argentina at 2:30 am (Korean time) on the 12th. The match for 3rd and 4th place was lost 1-3.

Korea in this tournament was called the ‘Valley Generation’. However, they created a semi-final legend with unified teamwork and finished the tournament in 4th place out of 24 participating countries.

Kim Eun-joong-ho did not have high expectations until the tournament. Because he didn’t have a clear star player. 

However, Korea, which had no star players, produced stars through this tournament. ‘Hexagonal striker’ Lee Yeong-jun, who opened the tournament with the final goal against France, and Bae Jun-ho, who played a big role with 1 goal and 1 help against Ecuador, scored 4 assists only with corner kicks and added up to 3 goals, creating a total of 7 attack points. ‘Captain’ Lee Seung-won, who scored the winning goal in two consecutive games, and Choi Seok-hyun, the defender.

Kim Eun-joong’s 4th place in this tournament is the third 4th place in the history of Korean men’s soccer in a FIFA-sponsored competition. Korea finished fourth at the 1983 Mexico U-20 World Cup and the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup.스포츠토토

In this tournament, Korea discovered several promising stocks. In the round of 16, Lee Yeong-joon showed off a stable touch and decisiveness enough to hear the sound of ‘K-Berkamp’, and Lee Seung-won, who saw the light in the prepared set piece, wore the captain’s armband and led Korea to the semi-finals. In addition, Dankook University defender Seok-Hyun Choi showed excellent performances in both offense and defense despite his modest height of 178cm.

In addition, Bae Jun-ho, who played an active role as the number 10 following Kang-in Lee, the ‘senior number 10’, was recognized by FIFA. Bae’s creativity and unpredictable movements play an important role in the challenge of the Taegeuk Warriors. When he catches the ball, Korean fans scream and the opponent panics.”

Those who did not raise expectations came together to create a semifinal myth. Most of the players have not experienced the professional stage yet. Let’s watch with interest how those who gained confidence through this competition will grow in the future.

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