Han Jae-hyun (Shimizu Esports) was the runner-up four years ago, but in 2023, Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon Sangmu) is the star of the show.

The South Korea U-20 team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong, advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 3-2 victory over Ecuador in the round of 16 at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina at 6 a.m. ET on Sunday.

South Korea scored three goals, the most of any team in the tournament, to put the game out of reach early. Bae Joon-ho (Daejeon Hana Citizen) had a goal and an assist, but the performance of frontline striker Lee Young-joon should not be overlooked.

Lee opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a precise right-footed half-volley after chest-trapping Bae Joon-ho’s cross from the left flank. Bae Joon-ho and Choi Seok-hyun followed with consecutive goals.

Not only did he score goals, but he also showed good ball-keeping and link-up play. He shook the Ecuadorian defense by using his 192cm height to control the aerial ball. He was the driving force behind Korea’s ability to stabilize the defense and counterattack Ecuador’s last-minute offense.

This is similar to Oh’s performance four years ago. He used his size to his advantage in ball-keeping and shooting to help South Korea become runners-up. 먹튀검증

Lee Young-joon has been on fire in the tournament with two goals and one assist. He’s been chipping in with goals and assists whenever his team has needed them, racking up the stats of a striker. What’s more, he’s also been a strong pillar of strength for the team, despite being physically exhausted from starting every game in a tight schedule.

He joined Gimcheon Sangmu early from Suwon FC and continued to grow as a player. He has been gradually building up his skills in the professional ranks and has become a solid offensive nucleus for Kim Eun-jung-ho in this tournament. Expectations are high for Lee in the quarterfinals against Nigeria. It will be interesting to see if he follows in Oh’s footsteps once again in his next match.

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