Jeong Woo-yeong scores SC Freiburg's winning goal against Hoffenheim
Jeong Woo-yeong scored SC Freiburg's winning goal in a 4-3 victory against Hoffenheim on Saturday, putting Freiburg in the Bundesliga's top four.
Jeong scored Freiburg's fourth goal in the 73rd minute, just two minutes after he was substituted in, marking his fifth goal the season.
It wasn’t until the 23rd minute at Prezero-Arena in Sinsheim, Germany on Saturday that Roland Sallai of Freiburg broke the silence and sent the ball into the corner of the net.
However, nine minutes later, Andrej Kramaric of Hoffenheim added a goal of their own and the first half ended 1-1.
Just four minutes into the second half, Angelo Stiller of Hoffenheim scored the club’s second goal.
But with Hoffenheim 2-1 up early in the second half with Stiller’s 49th minute goal, the delighted home crowd were barely back in their seats when Freiburg captain Christian Gunter leveled the score in the 50th minute.
There was no let-up from the visitors at Prezero-Arena as Freiburg went looking for more. Lucas Hoeler found another chance in the 70th minute and headed in Gunter’s set-piece to the back post, taking back the lead.
With no intention of conceding the lead, Jeong, just two minutes after he joined the field, caught a long ball from teammate Nico Schlotterbeck with his right foot and dribbled it past the Hoffenheim defense before slotting it in with his left. That turned out to be the winning goal, as Sebastian Rudy scored Hoffenheim’s third goal in the 84th minute.
Despite the late third goal from the hosts, Freiburg ultimately held out to a 4-3 victory and moved into provisional fourth place in the Bundesliga standings with 15 wins, 10 draws and seven losses, one point ahead of Leipzig in fifth position. Freiburg has the same 55 points as third-placed Leverkusen, but is behind in goal difference.
Finishing in the top four guarantees teams a ticket to the UEFA Champions League, the biggest footballing competition in Europe, while the fifth place team heads to the less-impressive Europa League and the sixth-place team settles for the Europa Conference League.
With Tottenham Hotspur in fifth place and the Wolverhampton Wolves in eight place in the Premier League, Jeong may become the only Korean footballer with a chance of getting his hands on some silverware.
Jeong's European career started in 2017, when he was signed by Bayern Munich from the K League's Incheon United. He appeared predominantly for the youth and reserve teams, making a single appearance for the German club in a UEFA Champions League game in November 2018.
At the start of 2019, Freiburg announced that they had signed Jeong to a four-year deal. Jeong made just one appearance for his new club, before being loaned straight back to Bayern Munich, where he slotted right back into the reserve team.
It wasn't until the last two seasons that Jeong started to become a regular first team fixture at Freiburg. In 30 league appearances this year, Jeong has scored five goals, already outpacing last season's four goals in 26 Bundesliga appearances.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]