“If someone slaps me on the back of the head while I’m walking down the street, I can still laugh and move on.”
That’s what Ko Young-jun, 22, a midfielder for the Pohang Steelers in the K League One of professional soccer, says when I ask him how he’s feeling these days.
He just returned from the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which concluded earlier this month, where he played as part of the Hwangsun Hongho, scoring one goal and adding four assists to help the team win gold.
As the only Pohang player to make the national team, he was also a product of Pohang’s youth teams, Pocheoldongcho, Pocheoljung, and Pocheolgo, which made Pohang fans shrug their shoulders even more.
After being away for over a month for the Asian Games since the beginning of September, Ko reunited with Pohang fans in the 34th round of the K League 1 (1-1 draw) against Incheon United at Pohang Steel Yard on the 20th.
He played the entirety of the match and was on the field for the entirety of the match, and even drew a few gasps from the Pohang fans with his ‘storm run’ in the first half.
After catching a loose ball in his own half following a set piece by Incheon, he started sprinting and charged straight to the Incheon penalty arc. The Incheon defense intercepted the ball before he could shoot, but it was a moment that showed his strengths.
“I thought the defense would cut me off while I was running, but the way was open. Honestly, it was hard, but the Incheon player following me was my friend Min Kyung-hyun, so I thought I shouldn’t get caught, so I ran harder.” “If it went in, it would have been a ‘life goal,’ but I got caught at the last second,” he laughed.
“I also felt pressure before the game because I had to perform better with me than without me. “Coach Kim Ki-dong jokingly said, ‘Jeonbuk has five people back (from the Asian Games), but you’re the only one, so you have to play five,'” he said, adding, “I was light and confident, so I tried to play as hard as I could.
“I’ve never come back from winning a gold medal and thought to myself or made an impression,” he said, before turning serious when asked about Pohang’s performance. 토토사이트
Pohang went scoreless in the final three matches of the regular round (two draws and one loss). In the first match of the Final A with Ko returning, against Incheon, Zeca scored a goal from the penalty spot, but the draw continued.