Lee now AFC Champions League top scorer

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Lee now AFC Champions League top scorer

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC striker Lee Dong-gook became the sole all-time leading scorer in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League after registering a goal against Beijing FC on Wednesday.

Lee netted his 37th AFC Champions League (ACL) goal in Jeonbuk’s 3-1 win over Beijing in their Group G opening match at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, North Jeolla, some 240 kilometers (149 miles) south of Seoul.

With Jeonbuk and Beijing tied at 1-1, Lee, who turns 40 next month, found the net in the 48th minute after he poked a Han Kyo-won cross in the box.

Prior to this match, Lee shared the top spot with Suwon Samsung Bluewings striker Dejan Damjanovic. But with Suwon having not qualified for the 2019 ACL, Lee is likely to maintain the sole lead on the all-time scoring list at least for this year.

Lee could have further extended his ACL scoring record against Beijing. In the 58th, Lee headed down a Kim Jin-su corner kick, but his effort was parried away by Beijing goalkeeper Zou Dehai. In the 62nd, his curling left-footed effort rang the crossbar.

Instead of grabbing a brace, Lee collected an assist at the end. His pinpoint left-footed cross in the 71st met Kim Shin-wook, who bagged Jeonbuk’s third goal of the night.

Lee was replaced by midfielder Lee Ju-yong in the 76th as he left the pitch receiving a standing ovation from Jeonbuk supporters. He was later named the Player of the Match by tournament sponsors for his performance.

Despite becoming the sole scoring leader in the ACL, Lee said he doesn’t put much meaning in it.

“I believe records are meant to be broken, and this one will be broken someday,” Lee said after the match. “If I retire and look back to see that I’m still the top scorer, then I may feel good about it. But at this moment, I don’t want to be too hyped up about it.”

Lee said he will keep up his scoring touches to help Jeonbuk reach their season target, which is to win the domestic league cup and the ACL.

Lee is also the all-time leading scorer in the K League 1. He has 215 goals in 505 league matches.

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