‘Light’ Jun-Hong’s super saves shine in defeat.
The South Korea U-20 football team fell to a 1-2 defeat to Italy in the third-place playoff at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata in La Plata, Argentina, on Monday (June 9).
Goals from Cassaday and Papundi ended South Korea’s dream of reaching the final. ‘Captain’ Lee Seung-won’s penalty kick equalizer kept their hopes alive, but they missed subsequent chances and were left with their heads down after a series of poor refereeing decisions.
But it was a well-fought game. Italy were clearly the stronger side and Korea responded with their own style, and it was only thanks to some super saves from goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong that they were able to give Italy a run for their money.
Kim stopped a whopping seven of Italy’s 19 shots on the day, including nine on target. Italy, who have scored a whopping 11 goals in the tournament and have the top scorer in Cassaday, looked to score a lot of goals against Korea but were unable to take control of the game as Kim Jun-hong was able to stop them.
Kim made two saves in the first half, 메이저놀이터 first from Baldanzi in the 9th minute and then from Ambrosino in the 16th minute. The goal to Cassaday was unfortunate, but the defense was left completely open and unable to do anything about it.
Kim Jun-hong was even more dominant in the second half. After stopping Turikia’s shot in the fifth minute, he stopped Giovanni in the seventh and Baldanzi in the tenth. His 13th-minute save on Prati’s header was the highlight of the night. Italy claimed it was a goal and even went to VAR, but it was ruled a save.
Kim Jun-hong continued to keep the Italian offense at bay, but conceded a second goal in the final minute of the game to a perfect free kick from Papundi. However, it was on such a good course that there was nothing anyone could do about it.
Kim Jun-hong has been on a saving spree this tournament. His performance was reminiscent of Lee Kwang-yeon’s four years ago, and it was thanks to him that South Korea could once again write their own quarterfinal mythology. It was also thanks to Kim Jun-hong that Korea was able to maintain a solid team color, defending in the first half and attacking in the second half.