‘Glory of the motherland, here we are’… Lee Young-jun and Kim Jun-hong, raise salute ceremony ‘one more time’

There is only one step left until the finals.

Kim Eun-jung-ho challenges to advance to the final of the U-20 Soccer World Cup. The stage is the 2023 International Football Federation (FIFA) U-20 World Cup semifinal against Italy, which will be held at La Plata Stadium in Argentina at 6 am (Korean time) on the 9th. If it beats Italy, Korea will achieve the great goal of advancing to the finals in two consecutive tournaments following Jung Yong-ho’s 2019 tournament.스포츠토토

All that was left was to continue the touching journey into the fruit of advancing to the finals. Even before the tournament, Kim Eun-joong-ho was called the ‘Valley Generation’ and did not receive much attention. Since there was no star player like Lee Kang-in (Mallorca) four years ago, the public’s interest was relatively low. However, Kim Eun-joong-ho gave an impression by coming together as a ‘one team’. In the history of Korean soccer, it was the first time in 21 years since the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup that it reached the semifinals of a FIFA competition with an undefeated record (3 wins, 2 draws).

It is not Kim Eun-joong who will be satisfied with the semifinals. If he only crosses Italy, he will qualify to compete for the title with the Uruguay-Israel victorious team. The gateway to the semi-finals that must be won to challenge the top of the world. The eyes are focused on the players of the two Armed Forces Sports Units (Sangmu), Lee Young-jun (20) and Kim Jun-hong (20, Sangmu Kim Cheon).

On the 23rd of last month, Lee Young-joon is celebrating with a salute after scoring a goal in the first leg of the FIFA U-20 World Cup group stage against France. Provided by the Korea Football Association

Lee Young-joon celebrates his goal after scoring a goal in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Round of 16 match against Ecuador on the 2nd. After this ceremony, Lee Yeongjun added a salute ceremony. Korea Football Association Article

Youngjun Lee, a tall striker with a height of 1m90cm, is actually playing full-time in all matches in this tournament. In the first game of the group stage against France, the only substitute out game was a substitution at the end of extra time. From the second group match to the quarterfinals against Nigeria, she played full-time. As Park Seung-ho (Incheon United) dropped out due to an injury, the proportion increased.

Even in exhausting situations, they are struggling at the forefront. He shook the net in France and Ecuador, and recorded 1 assist against Honduras. In the quarterfinal match against Nigeria, which recorded a 120-minute extra-long fight, he received applause for his duty as a front-line striker despite suffering from the opponent’s rough and persistent fouls. Not only his attack points, but also his strengths, such as connection and space creation, showed his presence throughout the tournament.

He is attracting attention as a next-generation striker by showing not only his post play using his height, but also his personal skills and skills. In particular, in the game against Ecuador, after trapping Bae Jun-ho (Daejeon Hana Citizen)’s cross with his chest, he split the net with a non-stop shooting, which became a hot topic of discussion.

It is a talent that has been noticed early on. He signed a semi-professional contract while in high school and entered the pro in 2021, and at the time set the record for the youngest K-League 1 debut (17 years, 9 months, 22 days). After recording 29 games, 1 goal and 2 assists in 2 seasons at Suwon FC, he has been serving in the military since this year. Manager Kim Eun-joong once evaluated him as “a player with the potential to explode once he explodes because he has the physical ability he has.” Its potential exploded through this competition.

Korea U-20 World Cup starting goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong. Provided by the Korea Football Association

Korea U-20 World Cup starting goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong. Provided by the Korea Football Association

If Lee Young-joon plays an active role in the front line, ‘enlistment motive’ Kim Jun-hong is firmly guarding the goal in the last line. 5 goals in 4 games in this tournament. Like Lee Young-joon, he entered the professional league by signing a semi-professional contract with Jeonbuk Hyundai U-18 team Jeonju Youngsaeng High School. He enlisted after appearing in 4 games in 2 seasons and allowing 1 run. He is the son of Incheon United legend goalkeeper Kim Yi-seop, coach of Incheon, and was coached by coach Lee Woon-jae, ‘Spider Hand’, before enlisting in the military. Manager Kim Eun-joong said, “He is a player who is sincere every moment. He is a player who works harder than anyone else with clear motivation.”

He showed his presence by showing a save show from the first leg of the group stage against championship candidate France. At the time, France attempted a whopping 24 shots, but Kim Jun-hong allowed no points except for a penalty kick allowed by an unreasonable decision. He received a second warning in the game against Honduras and was unable to play in the final game, but when he was released from punishment, manager Kim Eun-joong is trusted enough to hand over goalkeeper gloves again. In the quarterfinal match against Nigeria, he blocked 22 shots without conceding during 120 minutes of fierce fighting, becoming the main player in advancing to the quarterfinals.

As they belong to Sangmu, they do not forget to salute with a raised hand in national ceremonies as well as ceremonies. Lee Young-joon has already shown a salute twice as a goal ceremony, and immediately after winning against Ecuador in the round of 16, he greeted the fans with this ceremony side by side. If their ceremony takes place in the semifinals, Kim Eun-joong’s chances of advancing to the finals increase. ‘Glory of the motherland, here we are’. The time to make the slogan for the Armed Forces Sports Corps a reality is approaching.

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