‘No. 10’ ace Bae Joon-ho (Daejeon Hana Citizen) shares his thoughts on his MVP-caliber performance.
The South Korea U-20 soccer team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong, advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 with a 3-2 victory over Ecuador in the round of 16 at the Santiago del Estro Stadium in Argentina on Tuesday (June 2).
Kim scored his first three goals of the tournament against Ecuador, a team he met in the last four of the tournament, to advance to the quarterfinals for the second straight tournament.
Kim will face Nigeria, who defeated host Argentina, in the semifinals at 2:30 a.m. on May 5 at the same venue.
Bae Joon-ho, who was given the number 10 jersey but had been underwhelming, exploded into the tournament.
Starting against Ecuador, Bae earned his first offensive point of the tournament in the 11th minute with a crucial cross that set up Lee Young-joon’s (Gimcheon Sangmu) wonder goal.
Eight minutes later, he scored himself. A low pass from Park Chang-woo (Jeonbuk Hyundai) found Bae Jun-ho, who beat one defender with a fantastic touch to create space.
When the goalkeeper came out, he changed direction once again, making the goalkeeper and defense look foolish again, and calmly slotted home his second goal 메이저놀이터.
After the game, Bae Jun-ho spoke to the Korea Football Association about his performance, saying, “I had injuries from the group stage, so I felt sorry for my teammates. I played with the idea of playing hard rather than trying to be good, and it paid off.”
When asked what was going through his mind as Ecuador rallied, Bae said, “I was on the bench, so I trusted my friends and teammates and cheered hard from the sidelines.”
Now that he’s back from injury and fully fit, Bae is looking forward to his quarterfinal match against Nigeria on Friday.
“No matter who our opponent is, we will try to prepare well and show a good game like we have done so far,” he said.