The decisive goal that knocked out the favorites, France.
After celebrating the goal on his birthday, Lee Young-joon couldn’t contain his joy and made a lasting impression with a majestic giant salute.
[Lee Young-joon/U-20 National Team]
“I’ve been practicing a lot on set pieces, so it feels really good to score in a good situation.”
If Lee Young-joon, the 6-foot-3 안전놀이터 striker, was up front against the mighty French, it was fellow enlistee Kim “Private” Jun-hong who protected the back line.
Throughout the first half, Kim fended off a barrage of French attacks and made a tremendous reflex save on a ball that would have been an own goal.
After colliding hard with an opposing attacker and falling to the ground, he was given a warning and a penalty kick goal.
“I don’t understand it a bit, because neither of them saw the ball…”
However, the team remained steadfast until the final whistle blew to secure their first win.
Immediately after the game, the opposing goalie came up to them and gave them a thumbs up.
The two players, who drew attention with their salutes during the national anthem, are Commerce classmates who became the first Korean soldiers since Cho Won-hee to participate in the U-20 World Cup.
The two best friends, both born in 2003, who chose to join the military early, left each other affectionate messages of support ahead of the tournament and vowed to show their soldierly spirit.
[Kim Jun-hong/U-20 National Team (last February)]
“When I saw the ‘soldier spirit’ that my seniors (from Commerce) showed on the high stage, I thought I should go to this tournament and show good ‘soldier spirit’ as well.”
Lee Young-joon and Kim Jun-hong have proven their worth despite some criticism of their lack of a clear star.
The extraordinary ‘soldierly spirit’ of the two ‘soldiers’ is a great boost to the national team.