South Korea head coach Kim Eun-joong, 44, applauded his players’ efforts after they defeated hosts France in their first group game of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023.
South Korea earned three points with a 2-1 victory over France in their first group game at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, Argentina, on Sept. 22 (local time).
The French players, who have good individual skills and physical condition, pressured Korea from the very beginning of the match in search of a goal. In fact, France dominated the game with 74 percent possession, recording 15 shots on goal and six on target. South Korea, on the other hand, had just 26 percent possession, six shots, and five on target.
However, the national team played the way Kim said they would in his pre-match interview, focusing on defense and launching quick counterattacks when opportunities arose, which led to the Korean goal.
Lee Seung-won (Gangwon) scored the first goal in the 22nd minute of the first half after Korea switched from defense to offense and found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon Commerce) scored the second goal in the ninth minute of the second half after the French defense lost the ball on a free kick during a counterattack.
“France is the favorite, so we trained defensively and prepared for a counterattack, and the players followed the tactics well,” Kim said in a local broadcast interview via FIFA+.
“France attacked hard at the end, but I’m grateful that the defense remained focused and didn’t concede a goal,” he said. 메이저사이트
When asked about players of the match, Kim said, “There were some players who played their best today and some who didn’t,” and emphasized, “I think the most important thing is that all 21 of us played together and knew what we had to do.”
“The matches against Honduras and Gambia will not be easy,” Kim concluded, “and now that the first match is over, we will thoroughly prepare for the second match so that we can play a good game.”
The Korean national team will play the second match of the group stage against Honduras at 6:00 a.m. KST on June 26, and the third match against the Gambia at 6:00 a.m. KST on June 29.