There is a reason why they are called ‘the second Kim Min-jae’. Kim Ji-soo (19, Seongnam FC) boasts a perfect defense and clearly showed why he is a player receiving a love call from the Premier League.
The Korean under-20 (U-20) national team, led by coach Kim Eun-joong, played in the quarterfinals of the 2023 FIFA Argentina U-20 World Cup held at the Santiago del Estero Stadium on the 5th at 2:30 am (hereinafter referred to as Korean time). They defeated Nigeria 1-0 after an extended fight. With this, Korea made a new history in Asia by advancing to the semifinals for the second consecutive time following the runner-up in the 2019 tournament.안전놀이터
It was a fierce fight. Korea was far behind in shooting numbers (22-4) and possession (46-32), but blocked all Nigerian attacks with salty water defense. Nigeria only had 3 shots on target. This proves that the Korean defense did not allow a threatening opportunity.
Korea went into overtime after regular time ended 0-0, and won with a single set-piece. In the 5th minute of the first half of extra time, Lee Seung-Won’s corner kick rolled up from the left was returned by Choi Seok-Hyun exquisitely with his head, shaking the net. The only effective shot Korea fired that day decided the match.
As in previous games, Korea focused on defense first and then counterattacked. As much time was spent on defense, the performance of central defender Kim Ji-soo stood out. He tied up the Nigerian offense with quick predictions and solid defense. He looked like a post-Kim Min-jae.
Kim Ji-soo was born in December 2004 and is the youngest of Kim Eun-joong, but he commanded the defense from the rear and defended the salty water. With his height of 192 cm, he had the upper hand in aerial fights, boasting quick feet and judgment, and never pierced. He overpowered the opposing striker in a one-on-one match even before being replaced in the 28th minute of the second half.
He also showed bold progress. After striding the ball up in the 20th minute of the first half, Kim Ji-soo lightly took off the opponent’s pressure and spread a forward pass to the left. The Nigerian defense quickly surrounded him and did not lead to a shot, but it was a scene that confirmed his versatility.
According to the soccer statistics media ‘Sofa Score’, Kim Ji-soo on this day digested about 74 minutes, 4 kicks, 2 shot blocks, 2 tackles, 3 ground contest victories (3/5), 3 aerial contest victories (3 /3), 1 successful dribble (1/1), 2 successful long passes (2/5), etc. The media gave him the 4th highest rating of 7.3 on the team.
However, Kim Ji-soo unfortunately ended the record for full-time participation in this tournament. He continued to play the game even with a bandage on his wrist during extra time in the first half, but eventually left the field in the 28th minute, replacing Hwang In-taek. In the end, it seems that his wrist injury has become a problem.
This tournament is also an important showcase for Kim Ji-soo. He recently received an official signing offer from Brentford in the Premier League. Not only Brentford, but also ‘German champions’ Bayern Munich and Portugal’s prestigious Sporting CP are known to be interested in him. If Kim Ji-soo continues to play a big role in the remaining games, his stock price is expected to rise further.
Now, the next opponent for Kim Eun-joong is Italy. Korea will compete with Italy on the 9th at the Estadio Unico Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in La Plata, Argentina to advance to the final.