After breaking down in tears when his country’s hopes of reaching the FIFA U-20 World Cup final were dashed, Kim Eun Joong-ho striker Lee Young-jun (Gimcheon) has pulled himself together and is looking forward to the ‘last game’.
“Yesterday’s game has passed, and now the last game is left,” said Lee Young-joon at the training center in La Plata, Argentina, where the team was holding a recovery session after the quarterfinal match on Sept. 9 (local time). “We will try to recover well and prepare.”
The U-20s, led by Kim Eun-joong, lost 1-2 to Italy in the U-20 World Cup quarterfinals at La Plata Stadium the day before, falling to 3-4 in the final.
In the match, the national team fought well against Italy, but failed to score a goal other than a penalty kick by Lee Seung-won (Gangwon) and lost the match to the Italians, who scored the final goal on a free kick by Simone Papundi in the last minute of the second half.
Lee Young-joon, who was the only frontline option left in the squad after Park Seung-ho (Incheon) returned home early with a fractured ankle, 안전놀이터 must have felt even more guilty for not capitalizing on his chances. He cried more than any other player in the squad after the game.
“As a striker, it was unfortunate that I didn’t score a goal, and I felt sorry for my teammates and those who prepared with me,” he said.
“It was the first time the team lost in this tournament, so naturally, the team atmosphere and players’ mood were not good,” Lee said. “After sleeping and doing recovery exercises, I felt better. I’m trying not to sag too much and think about the next game with a positive mindset.”
“I’ll try to raise the mood,” said the team’s “mood maker,” as he was called by his teammates.
In the final match against Israel (2:30 a.m. KST on Dec. 12) for third place, Lee will be looking for his third goal of the tournament.
“It’s the last time I’ll see my friends from last year, the coaching staff with whom I’ve had many conversations, and I want to finish with no regrets and a smile on my face,” he said.
“I hear a lot of worries that it’s physically hard to play every game, but it’s not just me, it’s the other players as well,” he said, adding, “I will recover well and prepare for the next game in better condition.”