An assist hat-trick fell short, but Ko Young-jun had a good game.
Pohang Steelers defeated Seongnam FC 3-0 in the fourth round (Round of 16) of the 2023 Hana OneQ FA Cup at Tancheon Sports Complex at 7 p.m. on Thursday. With the win, Pohang advanced to the next round of the competition.
Pohang took an early lead in the match. In the ninth minute, Ha Chang-rae headed in a corner kick from Ko Young-joon to open the scoring. Pohang continued to dominate the offense and widened the gap in the 28th minute when Lee Ho-jae calmly slotted home a ball from Ko Young-joon after a flank break.
In the early stages of the second half, Pohang was shaken by Seongnam’s counterattack, but the team regained its center and scored a wedge goal to break Seongnam’s will to chase. In the 14th minute of the second half, Pohang stripped the Seongnam defense with a flanking play, and Lee Ho-jae slotted home a crucial pass from Kim Seung-dae. The match ended with a 3-0 victory for Pohang.
After the game, we caught up with Ko in the mix zone. “I think Seongnam came out with a team of players who hadn’t played much before, but they played hard and actively, so we had a difficult game. I think the early goal made it easier for us to play the game,” he said.
Ko Young-joon recorded assists on Pohang’s first and second goals. “For the first assist, I didn’t put the ball up because I saw (Ha) Changrae-hyung, but if you put it in a certain position, the players will find it and score, but when Changrae-hyung made a header, I thought, ‘Oh, okay. ‘ For the second goal, I saw (Lee) Ho Jae-hyung, but Ho Jae-hyung put it in well,” Ko explained.
Pohang’s third goal rattled the net once more, but was ruled offside. Lee Ho-jae scored from a corner kick, but it was ruled that Cho Jae-hoon was offside. If the goal had been allowed to stand, Lee Ho-jae would have scored a hat trick and Ko Young-joon would have recorded an ‘assisted hat trick’.
“This is the first time this has happened,” said Ko. At first, I felt good after the goal, but when it was disallowed, I felt unfair, but I guess I can’t help it because it’s part of the game. (What did you say to Cho?) If it was anyone else, I would have said something, but it was (Cho) Jae-hoon, so I didn’t say anything. If it was any of my other brothers, I would have said why are you standing there, but it’s okay because it’s Jae-hoon,” he said.
Despite falling short of a hat trick of assists, Ko did well to get the start and play the full game. In addition to his two assists, he was the link in the attack as he played all over the field in the second line, both in the center and on the flanks. Even when Seongnam dropped their defensive line and put pressure on him, he was able to keep the ball with his low center of gravity and balance, and his one-touch passes and turns helped Pohang’s fast pace of attack. Ko Young-jun has been performing well this season, including against Seongnam.
He has good stamina. He played a total of 2,859 minutes last season, and this season he has already played 1,131 minutes (as of round 14). That’s in addition to playing full-time in the FA Cup, a midweek game. It’s no wonder he’s physically demanding. It’s not like he’s a low-key player on the field. He plays so much that Pohang fans worry about him alongside Aubertan.
When asked about the secret of his good performance, he said, “First of all, I think confidence comes first. I’ve been playing a lot since last year, and I’m still playing a lot. I think I have a lot of confidence because the coach believes in me,” he said. 메이저사이트
“I’m still young, and I don’t think I’m ready to take a break at this point. Personally, I want to play a lot. Oberdan might be worried, but I don’t think he needs to worry. If I play, I’ll always play to the best of my ability,” he said, urging fans not to worry.
With his strong performance, he is now in the running for a final call-up to the U-24 national team. The U-24 national team is expected to face stiff competition for second-stringers, and Ko is ahead of the pack in terms of individual performance. However, there are some concerns about the presence of Lee Kang-in in the same position as the ace of the U-24 national team and the A national team.
However, Ko said he doesn’t think about it too much. “I’m greedy for (the national team). I want to go to the Asian Games, but I don’t know yet. I’m not too conscious about it (the position overlap with Lee Kang-in), but I have a big desire to go.”
Finally, before the match against Jeonbuk Hyundai, Ko said, “We know that there will be a lot of spectators, and we know that we are playing an important match against Jeonbuk on an important day. The coach has also told us to be aware of this. I think we need to prepare well,” he said before heading to the bus.