‘Overwhelming Height + Iron Wall Defense’ Kim Ji-soo, Post Kim Min-jae… Proves Why PL Love Calls

They call him the next Kim Min-jae for a reason. Kim Ji-Ji (19, Seongnam FC) showed why she’s a sought-after player in the Premier League with her impeccable defense.

Led by Kim Eun-joong, the South Korea U-20 team defeated Nigeria 1-0 after extra-time in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina on Friday at 2:30 a.m. ET. With the win, South Korea made Asian history by reaching the quarterfinals for the second consecutive time after finishing runners-up at the 2019 tournament.

It was a hard-fought match. South Korea was heavily out-shot (22 to 4) and out-possessed (46 to 32), but the salty defense held off all Nigerian attacks. Nigeria managed just three shots on goal, a testament to the Korean defense’s ability to keep them from creating any threatening chances.

South Korea took the game to extra time after a 0-0 scoreline, and it took a set piece to seal the win. In the fifth minute of the first overtime, Choi Seok-hyun rattled the net with a deft header off a corner kick from the left by Lee Seung-won. It was South Korea’s only shot on target of the match, and it sealed the game.

As in previous matches, South Korea focused on defense first and then tried to attack on the counterattack. With so much time on the defensive, central defender Kim Ji-soo stood out, as his anticipation and solid defense kept the Nigerian attack at bay. The post Kim Ji-soo’s performance was typical of Kim Min-jae.

Kim Ji-soo, born in December 2004, is Kim’s youngest counterpart, but he anchored the defense from the back and played a tight defense. He dominated aerial battles with his 6-foot-2 frame and was never penetrated with his quick feet and judgment. He dominated opposing strikers in one-on-one encounters until he was substituted in the 28th minute of the second half.

He also made bold moves forward. In the 20th minute of the first half, Kim drove the ball up the field, gently peeled off the opposition pressure and played a forward pass down the left side. It didn’t lead to a shot as the Nigerian defense quickly closed in, but it showed his versatility.

According to soccer statistics outlet Couch Score, Kim played approximately 74 minutes on the day, recording four clearances, two shot blocks, two tackles, three ground battles won (3/5), three aerial battles won (3/3), one successful dribble 먹튀검증 (1/1), and two long passes won (2/5). Media gave him a 7.3 rating, the fourth-highest on the team.

Unfortunately, Kim Ji-soo was unable to play full-time in the tournament. He continued to play with a bandage on his wrist in first-half stoppage time, but eventually exited the field in the 28th minute of the second half after switching places with Hwang In-taek. It appears that the wrist injury eventually became an issue.

The tournament is also an important showcase for Kim Ji-Soo. He recently received an official offer from Premier League side Brentford. In addition to Brentford, German champions Bayern Munich and Portuguese giants Sporting CP are also reportedly interested in him. If Kim continues to play well in his remaining matches, his stock will only rise further.

Next up for Kim is Italy. South Korea will take on Italy at the Estadio Unico Diego Armando Maradona in La Plata, Argentina, on March 9 for a spot in the final.

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