Kim Eun-Joong-ho’s quarterfinal opponent at the Argentina 2023 Under-20 (U20) World Cup is Nigeria, who defeated hosts Argentina.
The South Korean U20 team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong, defeated Ecuador 3-2 in the round of 16 at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina on Sunday (Feb. 2).
The victory marks the first time in history that South Korea has advanced to the quarterfinals of two consecutive U20 World Cups. South Korea most recently finished as runners-up at the 2019 tournament in Poland.
The quarterfinalists will face Nigeria at the same venue on Friday at 2:30 a.m. for a spot in the quarterfinals.안전놀이터
Nigeria reached the round of 16 after surviving as the third-place team in Group D, which was considered the “Group of Death” of the tournament.
Group D was one of the most competitive, featuring Brazil, Italy, and Nigeria. Nigeria impressed with a 2-1 record in the group stage, including a 2-0 win over Italy.
After two straight wins early on to advance to the Round of 16, the team faltered in Brazil, losing 0-2 but still making it through the group.
Nigeria’s surge continued in the round of 16. They pulled off an unexpected 2-0 win over hosts Argentina, who were the favorites to win the tournament.
Nigeria was out-shot 27%-57% and out-shot 10-27 in Argentina, but scored two goals in the second half to sink Argentina. It was a quick counterattack with solid defense.
As the round of 16 revealed, Nigeria is an offensively balanced team. They scored six goals against Argentina, with five of them coming from different players.
Sampson Lawal, Lilwanu Sakhi, Jude Sunday, Ibrahim Muhammad, and Salim Lawal scored for Nigeria.
Despite not scoring a goal, 2005-born midfielder Victor Ehua and Eletu, who plays for AC Milan (Italy), are the most notable star players. Ehue wears the No. 10 shirt and is touted as Nigeria’s next big star.
Defensively, Nigeria conceded only two goals against Brazil after qualifying for the round of 16, and the only points they conceded came from penalties in their first group game against the Dominican Republic.
In U20 tournaments, South Korea and Nigeria are evenly matched at 2-2 in the all-time series.
The teams have met twice in the U20 World Cup finals. In 2005, South Korea won 2-1 with goals from Park Joo-Young and Baek Ji-Hoon, and lost 0-1 in 2013.
The most recent meeting was at the 2016 U19 Suwon Continental Cup, where South Korea won 3-0 thanks to goals from Uhm Won-sang, Yoon Jong-kyu, and Cho Young-wook.