The South Korean U-20 national soccer team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong, is making history. The team’s run to the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup was a record-breaking one.
Kim Eun-Joong’s side 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 (June 5). South Korea advanced to their second consecutive semifinal after finishing as runners-up at the 2019 tournament in Poland.
South Korea and Nigeria played a scoreless 90 minutes of regulation time. In the fifth minute of overtime, center back Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University) headed in a corner kick from Lee Seung-won (Gangwon FC) to open the scoring for Nigeria. South Korea punched their ticket to the quarterfinals with a defensive-minded performance in the remaining time.
Through five group games, South Korea has won three and drawn two. According to the Korea Football Association (KFA), this is the first time the South Korean men’s and women’s national teams have won three games and drawn two after five matches in a FIFA-sanctioned tournament since the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup quarterfinal penalty shootout victory over Spain. It ties the record for the most points earned by a South Korean team in a single campaign with 21 years. If Kim Eun-Joong Ho can add a point in their remaining two matches, they will become the most decorated team in South Korean soccer history. 안전놀이터
‘Captain’ Lee Seung-won’s one assist against Nigeria tied the record. Since the group stage, he has totaled four assists in the back of Kim Eun-Joong-ho. This is the most ever by a South Korean player in a FIFA-organized tournament. It is the first time a South Korean player has recorded four assists in a FIFA-organized tournament since Lee Kang-in (Mallorca) scored two goals and provided four assists at Poland 2019.
Lee also showed off his “dead ball specialist” side at the tournament. All four of his assists came from set pieces (three corners and one free kick), which is also a “first” in Korean soccer history.