Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University) scored in the fifth minute of extra time to send South Korea to the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup for the second straight tournament.

Choi Seok-hyun scored the winning goal in the fifth minute of extra time to give South Korea a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina on Friday (June 5). It was Choi’s second consecutive game with a goal, after he scored against Ecuador in the Round of 16. South Korea will face Italy at 6 a.m. on Sept. 9 for a spot in the final.

South Korea has reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in back-to-back years. It is also the fifth time the men’s soccer team has reached the quarterfinals of a FIFA-organized tournament, following the 1983 and 2019 U-20 World Cups, the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics. Their best result was a runner-up finish at the 2019 U-20 World Cup.

South Korea started the game in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon) up front and Kang Sung-jin (Seoul) and Kim Yong-hak (Portimonense) on the left and right wings. Lee Seung-won (Gangwon), Lee Chan-wook (Gyeongnam), and Kang Sang-yoon (Jeonbuk) were in the center, while Bae Seo-joon (Daejeon), Kim Ji-su (Seongnam), Choi Seok-hyun, and Park Chang-woo (Jeonbuk) were in the defense. The goalkeeper is Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon).

Neither team had any clear-cut chances in the first 90 minutes. South Korea mainly attacked from behind the defense, while Nigeria tried to play offensively, but without much success. The Koreans were out-shot 32%-46% and were also out-shot (4-22) and out-shot on goal 토토사이트 (1-3). However, the lone shot on target in the early stages of extra time was finished off by central defender Choi Seok-hyun. Choi headed a low, quick corner kick from Lee Seung-won on the flank into the corner of the goal area where the opposing goalkeeper was unable to reach it. Against Ecuador in the Round of 16, Choi repeated the Lee Seung-won-Choi Seok-hyun set-piece scoring formula early in the second half, converting a Lee Seung-won corner into the net.

After the game, Choi said, “Lee Seung-won put the ball up so well that I just headed it in. Today’s game was the most difficult, but I’m glad we got the win while our physical strength dropped a lot. We will prepare well for Italy and play a good game.”

If Choi Seok-hyun, the ‘goal-scoring defender’, tied the knot, it was Lee Seung-won’s precise cross that proved to be the winning formula for South Korea. The captain has one goal and four assists so far in the tournament, including the group stage.

After the game, head coach Kim Eun-joong, who played stalling football with a solid defense and attack, said, “The players held on well and got a good result. It’s great. I feel like they are the future of Korean soccer, so I’m very grateful.”

South Korea will face Italy at 6 a.m. on Sept. 9 for a spot in the final. The Italians defeated Colombia 3-1 in the quarterfinals the day before to reach the last four. South Korea has three wins and two draws, while Italy has four wins and one loss.

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