Lee Young-joon (Managing Director, Gimcheon) scored a stunning goal that summoned Park Ji-sung (Technical Director, Jeonbuk Hyundai) to propel the South Korea Under-20 National Team into the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup.
Lee Young-joon opened the scoring early in the first half against Ecuador in the round of 16 at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina on Sunday (June 2).
In the 11th minute, Lee Young-joon trapped Bae Joon-ho’s cross from the left flank with his chest on the right side of the penalty area before firing a right-footed volley into the Ecuadorian net. It was an exquisite goal, reminiscent of Park Ji-sung’s goal against Portugal in the third round of the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup. Park received a cross from Lee Young-pyo on the left, chest-trapped it on the right side of the penalty area, and then beat a defender with his right foot before firing a left-footed shot into the net. Lee Young-joon and Park Ji-sung’s goals were similarly beautiful in location and process.
The goals spurred South Korea to a 3-2 victory over Ecuador, with goals from Bae Jun-ho (Daejeon Hana Citizens) and Choi Seok-hyun (Dankook University) to advance to the quarterfinals. It was the first time in the history of the U-20 World Cup that Korea reached the quarterfinals of two consecutive tournaments, following the 2019 edition in Poland.
Lee also played a key role in South Korea’s 2-1 victory over France in the group stage, heading home Lee Seung-Won’s free kick late in the first half after leading 1-0. Lee has scored two of South Korea’s six goals (one assist) in four matches at the tournament. He is the only South Korean player to score two goals.
The 6-foot-2 striker has been anchoring South Korea’s front line at the tournament. He is considered an orthodox striker with good delivery, a fluid touch on the ball, and shooting ability. With Park Seung-ho (Incheon United) returning home early due to an ankle injury, he has been the de facto leader of the frontline attack. Against Ecuador, he remained up front as South Korea focused on defending in the second half and continued to create chances on the counterattack.안전놀이터
Lee made his professional debut last season with Suwon Samsung in the K League 1, scoring one goal and providing one assist in 16 games. This season, he has one assist in three games for K League 2 Gimcheon. While he hasn’t gotten much playing time at the professional level due to seniority, he has scored 10 goals in 19 appearances for the U-20 national team.