Little giant Choi Seok-hyun has set his sights high.
The Kim Eun-Joong-led South Korea Under-20 football team will face Honduras in their second Group F match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, Argentina on June 26 at 6:00 a.m. ET. South Korea has one win 메이저놀이터 (W3, D+1) and Honduras has one loss (W0, D-1).
In the first round, South Korea knocked off heavy ‘favorite’ France to advance to the round of 16. South Korea set up a solid defensive line and attacked the French goal on the counterattack. Korea took the lead in the 22nd minute through Lee Seung-won’s first goal of the game, and added a second in the 19th minute through Lee Young-joon. Despite conceding a goal in the 25th minute of the second half due to a bad refereeing call that resulted in a penalty kick (PK), Korea held on for a 2-1 victory.
In particular, Choi Seok-hyun, who formed a solid defense line with Kim Ji-soo, stood out. On the day, South Korea allowed a total of 15 shots, but only six were on target. The two center backs did a great job of closing down the angles and preventing the opposing strikers from getting comfortable shots on goal.
“First of all, I think we had good chemistry with (Kim) Jisoo, and we played good defense with good positioning and quick reactions,” Choi said of his team’s performance against France.
Choi is not tall for a center back. His profile is 181 centimeters. However, his small stature has never been a weakness for him. There are many examples of successful center backs who are not tall, such as Fabio Cannavaro (176 cm) and Sergio Ramos (184 cm).
“I have Cannavaro as a role model and Ramos as a role model,” Choi said. They have similar physical conditions and are playing on the big stage at a late age with good defense, so I want to be like them.”
Choi is determined to win against Honduras: “They have a fast offense and good crosses, so I think we need to mark them as much as possible to prevent them from crossing from the side and prevent them from conceding as many goals as possible. We want to finish the tournament with the least number of goals among the teams.”