Even after scoring a thrilling come-from-behind goal, the ‘apology’ ceremony… Lee Dong-joon took off the ‘burden of his heart’ in the last game

Even after scoring the come-from-behind goal, he couldn’t smile. Rather, he put his hands together and bowed to the fans as if he were joining hands. It was the first goal he scored at the end of a season after moving to Jeonbuk Hyundai. It was “reasonable” apology ceremony for Jeonbuk Hyundai striker Lee Dong-joon (26).

The stage was against Bangkok United (Thailand) in the final Group F match of the 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on the 13th. Lee Dong-joon started as a right-side striker in the match of fate that will determine whether Jeonbuk will advance to the round of 16 in the ACL.

Jeonbuk, which could have reached the round of 16 even with a draw, was on the brink of a cliff by allowing the first run in the fourth minute of the first half. Moon Sun-min’s equalizer at the end of the first half managed to balance it, but he needed a clear “one shot” to secure the win and head to the round of 16. 파친코

In the 31st minute of the second half, Lee Dong-joon’s penetration and determination finally shone. When Song Min-gyu’s penetration pass headed to the back space of the defense, Lee Dong-joon broke down the back space with his unique explosive speed. He then did not miss a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper near the penalty box. He finished calmly with his right foot and shook the net.

A come-from-behind goal that could lead his team to the round of 16 strongest teams in the ALC. At a moment when it was not too much to express joy, however, Lee walked to the supporters’ seats behind the net and raised his hands on his head as if praying. He repeatedly bowed his head and expressed regret. His teammates celebrated his apology only after the ceremony was over.

The reason why Lee Dong-joon apologized to his fans instead of performing a goal ceremony despite the precious come-from-behind goal was because it was the first goal he made in a year after moving to Jeonbuk.

After playing for Hertha Berlin, Germany, through Busan I’Park, Ulsan Hyundai, and then moving to Jeonbuk in December last year, Lee returned to the K-League. However, Lee has rarely displayed his presence in the K-League this season. He played 23 K-League matches and had no goal for 29 consecutive official matches as a member of Jeonbuk. Clubs and fans, who had pinned high expectations on Lee, were all bound to be disappointed as time went by.

It was Lee Dong-joon who suffered more than anyone else. As his team’s performance was not good, he felt even more pressure. Then, he shook off the disappointment by scoring against Bangkok on the day. It was late, but that was the reason why he delivered the sincere ceremony to his fans.

Lee Dong-joon, who gained momentum, even scored multiple goals in two minutes. It was a similar scene this time. He received Moon Sun-min’s penetration pass and dug into the back of the defense, and did not miss the opportunity to score. He only smiled brightly right after this score.

Lee’s multi-goal was significant in that it led to Jeonbuk’s advance to the round of 16 at the ACL. Jeonbuk beat Bangkok 3-2 on the day to confirm its advance to the round of 16 at the second place in Group F. It was the third consecutive year for the team to advance to the round of 16 at the ACL. Lee’s multi-goal, which came at an important moment, was all the more significant.

Meanwhile, Jeonbuk is the last team to advance to the round of 16 teams including Ulsan, Pohang Steelers and Jeonbuk. Incheon unfortunately failed to make it to the round of 16 after garnering four wins (two losses) in the group stage.

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