Kim Eun-Joong-ho wrote the history books on the U-20 World Cup quarterfinals. It’s the second time he’s done it in a row, following in the footsteps of Jeong Jeong-yong-ho four years ago. After a series of poor refereeing decisions in the first round of the group stage, Kim overcame them in the quarterfinals against Nigeria.
The U-20 national team, led by Kim Eun-jung, won 1-0 after extra time against Nigeria in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina on Friday (June 5). This is the fifth time Korea has reached the quarterfinals of an international tournament, following the 1983-2019 U-20 World Cup, the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics. In particular, the team’s three wins, two draws, and a tie to reach the quarterfinals made it 21 years since the 2002 World Cup without a loss.
It was the fifth minute of extra time that broke the 0-0 tie. A corner kick from Lee Seung-won (Gangwon FC) was headed in by 178-centimeter center back Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University) to shake the Nigerian goal. Lee Seung-won and Choi Seok-hyun scored a joint goal through the same route for the second consecutive game after the round of 16 against Ecuador. In the end, Kim Eun-jung-ho made history by defending the goal in overtime. The quarterfinal opponent is Italy.
The victory was especially sweet because it came after a bizarre officiating decision that allowed them to win and advance to the quarterfinals. Referee José María Sánchez Martínez (Spain) plagued Korea throughout the match, but the team remained focused and eventually scored the winning goal.
Their frustration with the referee’s decision came to a head in the second half when a Korean penalty kick was not awarded. Bae Jun-ho (Daejeon Hana Citizen) was brought down in the penalty box, and a foul on the attacker was called. Bae Jun-ho was tripped up by an opposing defender’s foul on his hand as he drove into the penalty box. In previous matches, South Korea had conceded penalties in similar situations, but this time, instead of a penalty kick, Bae Jun-ho was fouled.
After missing a chance to end the game earlier and forcing overtime, South Korea still had to contend with some unfair calls, especially after Choi Seok-hyun scored the opening goal. In a contest for an aerial ball, a player raised his knee to compete for the ball and a big collision occurred, but no red card was given to the opponent. Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon Commerce) was given a yellow card for simulating an opponent who was not even hit in the face during a nerve war. 안전놀이터
In addition, the referee’s whistle was not blown when an opponent blatantly hit a Korean player in the face with his hand during a contest, or when an opponent hit a Korean player in the face with his elbow before a contest for an aerial ball. In the case of a Korean player tripping over an opponent’s tackle and touching the ball with his hand, a Korean handball foul was called, not an opponent foul. It was a series of disappointing calls that could have resulted in serious injury to the players.
Earlier, in the first group game against France, goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon) was shown a yellow card for colliding with an opponent during a cross contest and conceded a penalty kick. The penalty kick conceded against Ecuador was also ambiguous, even after going through VAR.