Lee Seung-woo scores first K League goal as Suwon beat Daegu
Suwon FC beat Daegu FC 4-3 on Sunday, with new forward Lee Seung-woo scoring his first goal for Suwon since he joined the K League this season.
Daegu opened the scoring three minutes into the match at Suwon Stadium in Suwon on Sunday, but it was Lee who scored the equalizer nine minutes later.
Lee's first goal for the K League club also came on the team's first home game of the season — and the first hometown game of Lee's career.
Lee signed with K League 1 club Suwon FC on Dec. 3 last year, returning to Korea after spending 11 years playing overseas.
Lee's return followed abortive spells in Portugal, Belgian, Italy and Spain, but the young forward had never played in Korea. Lee most recently played for Belgian club Sint-Truiden but his contract was terminated on Nov. 23 last year.
Lee is a product of the Barcelona football academy and was once considered a footballing prodigy touted as the "Korean Messi." But despite a strong youth career — Lee appeared for Korean youth teams across a number of tournaments and was MVP of the 2014 AFC U-16 Championship — Lee's transition to the adult game has not been smooth.
After years in the Barcelona academy, the closest Lee got to the top flight was a single appearance with the B team before he moved to Hellas Verona on a four year deal.
That move made Lee one of the only Koreans to make it to Italy's Serie A, but again it was short lived. In two years with Verona, Lee made 37 appearances, scoring only twice.
In 2019, Lee joined Sint-Truiden. In Belgium, he was given even fewer opportunities, making his debut four months after he joined the club. Lee spent most of last year on loan to Portuguese side Portimonense, where he made just six appearances.
“I am glad that I could help the team by scoring a goal when the team needed it,” said Lee after the match. “I first thought of my family, who were there for me through the ups and downs, and I expressed my gratitude by making a heart with my hand during the goal celebration.”
The match between Suwon and Daegu was a busy match that saw a total of seven goals, four in the first half and three in the second half. Despite Daegu’s Cesinha scoring a brace that leveled the score at 3-3 in the 53rd minute, the Suwon side was the club to add three points in the end with Kim Seung-joon scoring the fourth goal with seven minutes left on the clock.
There were only five other matches over the weekend, instead of the usual six, as the match between Ulsan Hyundai and the Pohang Steelers was canceled due to a Covid-19 outbreak that hit the Ulsan club.
K League rules mandate that matches are postponed if there are less than 17 players on a team. Ulsan only had 13 players able to play on Sunday. The postponed match is scheduled to be played on March 27.
On Saturday, Gimcheon Sangmu showed off their potential by holding defending champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to a 1-1 tie at Jeonbuk’s home ground. Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Gangwon FC also tied 2-2, while Jeju United beat FC Seoul 2-1. On Sunday, Incheon United beat Seongnam 1-0.
The K League now enters a two-week international break ahead of the two World Cup qualifiers — on March 24 Korea will take on Iran, before facing the United Arab Emirates on March 29.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]