Coach Kim Eun-joong’s smile at the Argentinian “The players have become ‘zombies'”

The Korean national under-20 (U20) soccer team, which is aiming to advance to the finals for the second time in a row, has begun its first hardening after entering La Plata, the ‘land of decisive battles’. Although they ran out of stamina from the group stage to the quarterfinals, the Taegeuk warriors and coaching staff showed bright faces.스포츠토토

Korea, led by coach Kim Eun-joong, will play the semifinals of the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup against Italy at La Plata Stadium in La Plata, Argentina on the 9th at 6 am (Korean time).

Korea, which won 1-0 after a bloody battle that went into overtime in the quarterfinals against Nigeria on the 5th, succeeded in advancing to the semifinals for the second consecutive time following the 2019 tournament in Poland (runner-up). Now they are aiming for a second consecutive final against Italy.

In the history of the U20 national team between Korea and Italy, Korea leads with two wins.

In the 1981 U20 World Cup in Australia, Choi Soon-ho’s multi-goal, Kwak Seong-ho, and Lee Gyeong-nam’s consecutive goals led them to a 4-1 victory. In the 2000 New Year’s Championship held in Japan, Lee Chun-soo’s winning goal led to a 1-0 victory.

The Korea Under-20 (U-20) World Cup soccer team led by coach Kim Eun-joong walks and warms up before a recovery exercise at the training ground near the Howard Johnson Hotel in La Plata, Argentina on the 7th (local time). 2023.6.7/News1 ⓒ News1 Reporter Lee Seung-bae

The national team arrived in La Plata on the afternoon of the 5th local time (the morning of the 6th, Korean time) and conducted their first training two days before the game.

Initially, I was going to exercise at the training ground outside the city, but on this day, I warmed up lightly at the training ground right next to the national team accommodation. He seemed to be concentrating on recovery due to accumulated fatigue.

Key players such as Lee Seung-won (Gangwon) and Lee Yeong-jun (Gimcheon Sangmu) returned to their lodgings after lightly walking around the field for about 30 minutes. He improved his physical condition in the outdoor swimming pool.

Six people, including the three goalkeepers and Kang Seong-jin (Seoul), sweated for nearly an hour while practicing passing the ball with the staff. Even in the midst of fatigue, the smiles on the faces of the players did not stop. Head coach Kim Tae-min raised the atmosphere by encouraging the players with a loud voice.

Manager Kim Eun-joong, who met ‘News 1’ on the field, said, “The players have never played so many games in such a short period of time during their careers.” I will be paying,” he said.

Kim Eun-joong, head coach of the Korea Under-20 (U-20) World Cup soccer team, smiles as she walks through the training ground ahead of players’ recovery training at the training ground near the Howard Johnson Hotel in La Plata, Argentina on the 7th (local time).

A total of 20 players are playing in the national team as Park Seung-ho (Incheon) returned home early due to injury.

Coach Kim said with a worried voice, “With the departure of (Park) Seung-ho, there is really not enough staff.” He smiled, saying, “Our players have become ‘zombies.’

The U20 national team, which has advanced to the semifinals for the second consecutive time, will hold an official press conference for the semifinal match against Italy on the 8th, ahead of the game. Head coach Kim Eun-joong and captain Lee Seung-won will participate in the press conference.

Coach Kim said, “Through great mental strength, our players were able to advance to the semifinals.” I will be able to do it,” he said with faith.

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