Dead-ball specialist Lee Seung-won’s ‘golden right foot’ powers Kim Eun-jong-ho to fourth place

Captain Kim Eun-jung-ho’s right foot shone once again.

The Korea U-20 National Team, led by head coach Kim Eun-jung, defeated Nigeria 1-0 in extra time in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina on Friday at 2:30 a.m. ET. Five minutes into extra time, Choi Seok-hyun (20-Dankook University) scored the game-winning goal on a celestial corner kick header.

It was literally a game of patience for the entire 120 minutes. True to tournament form, both teams stayed in their defensive zone as much as possible to keep the score down.

It was Nigeria who took the initiative through individual brilliance. Despite being outnumbered, Nigeria’s quick feet consistently rattled Kim Joong-ho. In the early stages of the game, they were aggressive in switching from side to side and attacking from the wide side of the field.

However, Korea’s solid 4-4-2 formation was not broken. Although they were held to zero shots on target in the first 90 minutes, they managed to contain the ‘Team of the Winds’ Nigerian attack as much as possible.

One shot on target was all they needed to advance to the quarterfinals. In the fifth minute of the first overtime, captain Lee Seung-won’s corner kick was met with a stunning header by Choi Seok-hyun. Choi’s header flew confidently over the defense and immediately rattled the Nigerian goal. It was like a replay of the previous round of 16 match against Ecuador.

Lee Seung-won had already picked up his fourth assist of the tournament. Kim has scored eight goals in the tournament, half of them from 메이저사이트 set pieces. The ‘dead-ball specialist’ Lee Seung-won’s right foot has been guiding Kim at key moments. He recorded an assist (free kick 1, corner kick 3) in the group stage match between France and Honduras and in the tournament match between Ecuador and Nigeria.

Lee supports the team with a lot of work in the midfield and also contributes to the team’s goals with his perfect kicks.

Speaking to the Korea Football Association (KFA) on the eve of the match, Lee said, “(Choi) Seok-hyun and (Kim) Ji-soo are good at headers. We focused on that in training,” he said. Choi also took credit for the goal after the win over Nigeria, saying, “(Lee) Seung-won put it up well.” Lee’s corner kicks are something to keep an eye on every game.

Meanwhile, after reaching the quarterfinals of two consecutive tournaments, the U-20s will look to make it back-to-back finals appearances. Kim Eun-jung-ho’s next opponent is Italy’s Azzurri Legion. The two teams will face off for a spot in the final on September 9.

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