‘I fought well’ but one free kick later‥”I have no regrets”

◀ Anchor ▶

Our players, we lost, but we fought so well.

For the first time ever, we reached back-to-back finals at the U-20 World Cup.

They hung in there against the favorites, Italy, but fell short, losing 2-1.

However, the players said they fought as hard as they could without any regrets.

Reporter Kim Tae-woon reported from Argentina.

◀ Report ▶

The favorites, Italy, came out strong.

In the 14th minute, we conceded a goal to Cassaday, the tournament’s leading scorer.

Our defense took advantage of a lapse in concentration.

We fought back immediately.

Four minutes later, we were awarded a valuable penalty kick after VAR confirmed that Bae Junho was stepped on by a defender’s foot… and our captain, Lee Seung-won, calmly converted to bring the game back to even.

In the final minutes of the first half, the team played their trademark silly soccer based on organization, launching prepared counterattacks.

After narrowly avoiding a goal in the second half thanks to the animal reflexes of goalkeeper Kim Jun-hong, the team took the lead midway through the second half, but the finishing was lacking.

Lee Seung-won’s crucial shot was blocked by the goalkeeper…and Lee Young-joon’s shot was off target.

After a string of missed chances, we were dealt a stinging blow.

A free kick given away just outside the penalty box…was converted by substitute Papundi, born in 2006, with a fantastic trajectory.

A bitter 2-1 defeat.

The players, who had given everything, couldn’t get off the field for a while in disappointment.

[Lee Seung-won/U-20 captain]
“I don’t think we can blame anyone for the way things turned out on the field, I think we played as hard as we could, and I think we played with no regrets.”

Still, the players bounced back.

They thanked the fans in the stands for supporting them all the way through…and renewed their resolve for the final third-place match against Israel, which lost to Uruguay.

[Kim Ji-Soo/U-20 National Team]
“I want to thank the people of Korea who watched the game even though it’s late in the day, and they supported us so much, but I’m sorry we didn’t get a good result…” 스포츠토토

But we still have the next game, so we’ll show you that we won’t give up and we’ll fight until the end.

A beautiful challenge that brought out the best in everyone, even though no one cared.

The players said they gave it their all and have no regrets.

I’m Kim Tae-woon, reporting for MBC News from La Plata.

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