“I felt sorry for my teammates.”
The South Korean U-20 football team reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 for the second consecutive year with a 3-2 victory over Ecuador in the round of 16 at the Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, on Sunday (June 2).
One of the key contributors to the victory was ace Bae Joon-ho, who started the game and scored a goal and an assist to spearhead the victory over Ecuador.
Bae Jun-ho is considered the ace of South Korea. He started seven games in the K League One this season and stood out among his peers, but an adductor muscle injury set him back. He missed the France game, started against Honduras, and came on as a substitute against the Gambia.
It wasn’t the performance we expected. There was no doubt that he had the talent, but his injury seemed to hold him back. However, in the most important game of the tournament, against Ecuador, Bae Jun-ho lived up to the expectations that were placed on him.
Speaking to the Korea Football Association after the match, Bae said, “I felt sorry for my teammates because I was injured since the group stage. Today, I just tried to play hard instead of trying to be good,” he said.
In the first half, he made a fantastic pass to set up Lee Young-joon’s stunning volley, and then he took a pass from Park Chang-woo to beat the Ecuadorian defender and goalkeeper. That’s the easiest part of Bae Joon-ho’s performance to explain. But after he was subbed out, South Korea fell behind Ecuador and trailed 3-2.
“I was watching from the sidelines,” Bae said. 메이저놀이터 I trusted my friends and teammates and cheered hard outside,” he said.
Korea’s quarterfinal opponents are the Flying Eagles of Nigeria, who looked unstoppable in their Round of 16 match against host Argentina, winning 2-0.
“No matter who our opponent is, we will prepare well and move forward as we have done so far,” Bae vowed.