Goalkeeper Moon Hyun-ho (20, Chungnam Asan) was the key to South Korea’s clean sheet in their final group game.
Kim Eun-jung’s U-20 national team drew 0-0 with the Gambia in their third match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Group F on Monday (Sept. 29) at the Mendoza Stadium in Argentina.
The match was expected to be a calm affair as both teams had already qualified for the round of 16. The day before, coach Kim Eun-joong had said, “We don’t need to exhaust ourselves too much,” and the rotation was already in place.
In fact, Kim left out seven players from the starting lineup for the Gambia match, including Lee Young-joon (Gimcheon Commerce), Lee Seung-won (Gangwon FC), and Kim Ji-soo (Seongnam FC), who appeared in the previous match against Honduras. Moon Hyun-ho took the place of Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon Commerce), who missed the previous matches against France and Honduras due to accumulated warnings.
The ‘second goalkeeper’ became the main reason for the clean sheet. After a somewhat quiet first half, Gambia and Kim Eun Joong-ho upped the tempo in the second half and exchanged attacks. The Gambia had a no-mark header chance from Amada Bojang in the first minute of the second half. Bojang attempted a header right in front of the goal, which Moon calmly blocked. Four minutes later, he showed off a steady punch.
The highlight came in the 21st minute of the second half. Substitute Salifu Kohli attempted a mid-range shot. Moon Hyun-ho was caught up in the action, but made a sensational save with his left arm. The ball came back toward the goal, but Moon calmly caught it to prevent a goal. The local crowd could be heard applauding Moon’s save. The SBS commentary team, who were in charge of the game, called him “Moon Na Rumma” (Moon Hyun Ho + Jian Luigi Don Na Rumma).
The Gambia pressured Korea with five shots on goal, but all of them were saved by Moon Hyun-ho. After a fierce second half, the two teams shared a point.
Even FIFA was surprised by Moon’s performance. “With Collie’s shot blocked by Moon’s arm, the Gambia decided it wasn’t their night,” FIFA said on its official website after the game.
The Matanjung-Matango native 메이저사이트 previously won the 2017 National Secondary School Soccer League championship with Matanjung. He also won the goalkeeper of the year award. He then joined Chungnam Asan FC in the K-League 2 as a free agent in 2022 and played four games for the club before turning professional. He is yet to make a league appearance this season. Up until this day, he had played seven matches for the youth national team, keeping one clean sheet. He made his U-20 World Cup debut today, extending his tally to eight games.
“I want to play with the mindset of enjoying the tournament itself,” Moon said in a short question and answer session released by the Korea Football Association (KFA) on social media (SNS) on July 15.
Moon’s performance, which was the first clean sheet in the tournament, gave coach Kim Eun-joong a happy problem to solve. After advancing to the round of 16, Kim’s next opponent will be Group B runner-up Ecuador.