Bae Jun-ho of the South Korea Under-20 National Team scored a goal and an assist to lead South Korea to a 3-2 victory over Ecuador in the round of 16 of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Santiago del Estero, Argentina on Sunday (June 2) at 6 a.m. ET.
Bae set up Lee Young-joon’s opening goal in the 11th minute with a fantastic pass. From the left front of the penalty box, Bae saw Lee penetrate behind the opposition defense and delivered a precise space pass. Lee received the ball, trapped it with his chest, and rattled the net with a powerful right-footed volley. The goal was a combination of Lee’s finish and Bae’s creative passing.
Eight minutes later, Bae Jun-ho took matters into his own hands, receiving a pass from the left flank near the front of the arc circle and turning with a precise touch. He then beat the defense with an exquisite finish and took the keeper’s timing off. Bae Jun-ho, who had created the opportunity on his own, fired a flowing right-footed shot into the corner of the net. It was a valuable goal that gave South Korea an early lead.
South Korea pulled one back in the 36th minute on a penalty kick, but Choi Seok-hyun’s header three minutes into the second half made it 3-1. Although they conceded one more goal, they were able to defend their lead and advance to the quarterfinals.
Bae Jun-ho is an all-around player with solid fundamentals, intelligent play, passing ability, and goalscoring ability. He may not be a household name, but he’s already established himself as one of the best players in his age group. Unsurprisingly, Kim Eun-joong was labeled as the “crown prince” from the start. Kim has consistently utilized Bae as a key resource for the team. If the U-20 national team had Lee Kang-in four years ago, Kim Eun-joong had Bae Jun-ho.
Bae Jun-ho is somewhat of a household name among K League fans. After getting a taste of the pros in the second division last year with Daejeon Hana Citizens, Bae has been competitive in the first 안전놀이터 division this year. He even turned heads against teams like Ulsan Hyundai.
In this tournament, Bae suffered a muscle injury before the first group stage match. He missed the first game and didn’t make an impact in the second. In the third game, he came off the bench to warm up, and finally, in the first game of the most important round of the tournament, he played his best game of the tournament to lead his team to victory. One day, he was going to break through and shine, and that day came against Ecuador.