Lee Dong-joon, who scored his first goal a month before enlisting, “I will return Jeonbuk’s status”

“I’ll do my best before I go to the army, and I’ll do my best to restore Jeonbuk’s status!”

So said Lee Dong-joon, who scored his first K League 1 goal for Jeonbuk Hyundai just a month before enlisting in the military.

Lee scored the game-winning goal in the ‘Hyundai Derby’ home match against Ulsan HD in the fourth round of the Hana One Q K League 2024 at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on March 30, saving Jeonbuk from defeat with a 2-2 tie.

Jeonbuk had been in a very poor run of form prior to this game, with two draws and one loss in their opening two matches, so if not for Lee Dong-joon’s heroics, 스포츠토토 the team could have slipped further into the doldrums.

Lee opened the scoring in the 46th minute, finishing a cross from the left by Kim Jin-soo with a header in the box.

In the 24th minute, a bold run down the right side and a cutback found Thiago, who finished past Moon for the equalizer.

Speaking to the media in the post-match mix zone, Lee said: “I was so nervous. I thought we had to score a goal in the first half to turn it around in the second half, but Jin-soo sent me a good cross and I was able to score the equalizer,” he said, recalling the circumstances of the first goal.

“I thought it was a really important game today, and the fans came out to support us, but it’s too bad we didn’t win. I’m sorry for that,” he said, bowing his head.

Lee’s goal was even more significant as it was his first league goal since joining Jeonbuk.

Lee Dong-joon, who returned to Korea for the 2023 season after playing in Germany, struggled with injuries in his first season with Jeonbuk.

He didn’t score his debut goal for Jeonbuk until the sixth round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) group stage last December.

He followed that up with his first league goal for Jeonbuk.

Lee is just starting to come into his own with Jeonbuk, and will enlist in the military next month. The 27-year-old has been accepted by Gimcheon Commerce and will start playing for the club on the 29th of next month.

“It’s really unfortunate. It’s a tough time for the team right now, and I want to stand up with the team and share in the glory, but military service is an inevitable part,” he said, adding, “I will do my best before I go to the military and try my best to turn Jeonbuk’s status around.”

Ulsan was the last team he played for before heading to Germany, so his goal will have mixed feelings for Ulsan fans.

“Apart from (Ulsan being my hometown team), it’s a rival team, and I didn’t want our fans to feel the emotions of losing to a rival team, so I played harder,” he said.

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