For Lee Geun-ho, who still has three games left in the K League, the FA Cup is probably the first thing to come to an end in his career this season. -Of course, the AFC Champions League is already over until 2022.
In the first week of November, when the K League takes a break, the FA Cup is down to the final between Jeonbuk Hyundai and Pohang Steelers. As Jeonbuk Hyundai looks to become the first Korean professional soccer team to win the trophy this season, we take a look back at Lee Geun-ho’s last FA Cup run in a special Daegu MBC program, “Lee Geun-ho’s Last Dance.” Lee Geun-ho is planning to retire at this point in his career.토토사이트
In total, Lee played in 13 seasons in the FA Cup. After appearing in one game each in 2004 and 2005 for his professional debut team, Incheon United, Lee moved to Daegu FC, where he also tasted his first points in two consecutive seasons in 2007 and 2008.
After returning from his overseas stint, Lee returned to the FA Cup with Ulsan Hyundai and Sangju Sangsang, and went on to play in the FA Cup with Jeju United and Gangwon FC, and again with Ulsan and Daegu. In total, Lee made 13 appearances in 31 competitions for six teams, scoring five goals and providing one assist.
After leaving Incheon, Lee came into his own in Daegu, where he impressed in the 2008 FA Cup, helping the club reach the quarterfinals for the first time.
Having had a relatively easy FA Cup campaign, facing lower league teams in the round of 32 and round of 16, Daegu faced Ulsan Hyundai, the league’s third-ranked team, in the quarterfinals. Facing a tough opponent on a wooden bridge, the match was played at Daegu Stadium on November 5, 2008, with Daegu conceding an early goal. It was Lee Geun-ho’s back-to-back goals that saved the day.
Lee’s association with the FA Cup seemed to portend a good start, as he impressed with an equalizer and a late winner, the only FA Cup multi-goal game of his career, to send his team to their first ever FA Cup quarterfinal.
After a stint in the J-League, Lee returned to Korea for the 2012 season, but this time for Ulsan Hyundai, where he scored his FA Cup comeback goal in a 6-1 quarterfinal victory over a rather easy opponent, Goyang KB Kookmin Bank.
After reaching the quarterfinals once again, Lee looked to reach the first FA Cup final of his career, but both he and his team went scoreless in the semifinals, falling to Gyeongnam 0-3.
After an unsuccessful run in the FA Cup, Lee’s second season in Ulsan, 2018, saw him reach the final and win his first title. Lee was feeling good about the tournament, having scored against Busan in the round of 16, but his opponent was Daegu FC, who, as fate would have it, were his hometown team.
Lee Geun-ho, who started both home and away matches on the substitutes’ bench, led the attack in the first leg at home, coming on as a substitute in the 18th minute with the score tied 1-1, but had to watch his team lose to a late goal. Against Daegu, he was substituted in the 20th minute of the second leg at 0-1, but had to watch his team concede two more goals to finish as runners-up.
Returning to the club where he started and ended, Daegu FC, Lee reached the FA Cup final once again in 2021, his first year in charge. Having watched Daegu win the title in Ulsan in 2018, Lee came within a whisker of his first FA Cup trophy, but had to settle for a disappointing runner-up finish at home in DGB Daegu Bank Park.
The following year, Lee provided the assist for Jung Tae-wook’s goal in the round of 16 away from home, which would remain his only FA Cup assist. This season, after appearing in both FA Cup stages, Lee scored the final FA Cup goal of his career in the first leg of the round of 32 at home. The goal proved to be a crucial victory for Daegu in a tough match against K League 2 side Cheonan City FC. Lee opened the scoring in the 38th minute, capping off his six FA Cup goals and ending his FA Cup journey by starting and playing the final 16 minutes of the round of 16 match.
Lee’s time in the FA Cup may not be a glamorous memory for him, as he continues to make his farewells on the pitch one by one, but the silence of his career and the value of proving his worth to the team is something that cannot be taken lightly. As he nears the end of his career, Lee’s 31 trips to the FA Cup seem all the more precious and worthy of reflection.