Ulsan Hyundai’s striker Lee Min-kyu, the reigning K League 1 top scorer, has admitted that he has lowered his expectations for his chances of being selected for the national team.
Ulsan drew 2-2 away to FC Seoul in the 28th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Sunday. After conceding an early goal to Ilyuchenko, Ulsan bounced back with a multi-goal performance from Lee In-gyu, but conceded a late equalizer to Willian in stoppage time. Seoul remained fifth in the league with 10 wins, 10 draws and eight losses and 40 points. Ulsan remained atop the league with 19 W, 4 D, 5 L, and 61 points.
Ulsan went 4-5-1 on the day. Cho Hyun-woo was in goal, with Jung Seung-hyun, Kim Young-kwon, Seol Young-woo, and Lee Myung-jae in defense. Lee Dong-kyung, Kim Min-hyuk, Rubik’s Cube, Bako, and Hwang Jae-hwan combined in the midfield, with Lee In-gyu looking to score up front.
Ulsan was dealt a blow in the 10th minute of the first half. They conceded an early goal to Seoul striker Ilyuchenko. However, Ulsan had In-Jin-gyu. He tied the game in the 20th minute when he slotted home Bako’s shot after goalkeeper Choi Chul-won saved it. Four minutes later, he rattled the net with a non-stop right-footed shot off a cutback from Seol Young-woo.
Ulsan, who had come from behind to take the lead thanks to In Ju-gyu’s multi-goal performance, conceded a late equalizer to Willian in stoppage time and had to settle for a point. Although the result was somewhat disappointing, In-Joo added two more goals to his tally, tying him with Thiago (Daejeon Hana Citizen) for the top scorer in the league.
In a post-match interview, Suhoon said, “It’s not an exaggeration to say that it was the most important game of my career. I’m very disappointed that we didn’t win. I will prepare well for the next game so that I can play a winning game,” he said.
As for the most important point, he said, “The gap between us and second place was no more than 10 points. I thought that if we won, we could make the gap bigger than 13 points, so I think that’s why I thought it was an important game.”
As for what coach Hong Myung-bo said when they were losing, he said, “We got more confident and changed to be more aggressive. We scored a goal through a partial tactic and came up with an attacking pattern that allowed us to come from behind.”
On his first multi-goal game in three months, he said, “When you’re a striker and you’re not scoring goals, you get impatient and stressed. It’s a problem every season, and it’s a problem I have to solve as a striker. How to solve it and find confidence was the point. I had the determination and motivation to score goals,” he said, adding, “The coach didn’t say anything to me when I went into the game, but the parts that he told me to take it easy were psychologically relaxed, and I think that’s why the multi-goal performance came out.” He thanked Hong Myung-bo for his words of encouragement.
When asked about the difference between the old Seoul and the current Seoul, he said, “Everyone knows that Seoul is a strong team. I think the players were motivated to do better after the change to the acting coach,” he said, adding, “Our players were a little panicky about the combative parts. I think those things have changed a little bit,” he said, adding that he feels Seoul is stronger now.
There is no greed for the top scorer, he said. “As I said when I transferred and throughout the season, I don’t want to be the top scorer because we don’t have a title. This season, I’m focusing on the team, and I think winning the title will be happier and more valuable than being the top scorer,” he said, adding that he will aim to win the team title.안전놀이터
At 1 p.m. on Aug. 28, the roster of the national soccer team for the September A match will be announced. “To be honest, I’m expecting 0.1%,” said Lee In-gyu, who has never been selected to the national team despite being the top scorer in K League 1. I was actually hurt by the (national team selection) part. Now, I’m going to put my mind down, wait calmly and not be greedy,” he confessed, adding, “Whether it happens or not, I think there are things that are lacking and things that need to be filled, and I think it’s important to grow with good players under a good coach.” He said he would focus on the team.