This is why so many coaches love ‘leader’ Lee Cheong-yong.
‘Veteran midfielder’ Lee Cheong-yong proved his worth as the key to Ulsan’s turnaround from a slump. He came on as a substitute for Lee Dong-kyung in the 25th minute of the 0-0 tie against Jeonbuk Hyundai in the ‘Hyundai Derby’ in the 27th round of the ‘Hana OneQ K League 1 2023’ at Munsu Stadium in Ulsan on April 19.
The ‘game changer’ for Ulsan, Lee made his presence felt within the first minute of his arrival. As Jeonbuk went on the attack, he cleared the ball away near the halfway line, and Martin Adam quickly won the ball back with his back to goal. Lee Chung-yong read the movement of Uhm Won-sang in the back of the Jeonbuk defense and played a through ball, and Uhm Won-sang beat the advancing goalkeeper Kim Jung-hoon with a left-footed finish.
It was not a simple through ball. It was a calculation of Lee Chung-yong’s speed and a split-second reading of the opposing defender’s style, as he stole a pass behind Jeonbuk’s 6-foot-2 defender Petrasek (Czech Republic), who was standing on the left as Uhm cut in from the right. Petrasek has threatening physicality, but his weakness is covering for speedy strikers who cut into the back four. Uhm Won-sang was forced to move to his left to pick up the ball, but Lee Chung-yong trusted his speed and targeted Petrasek’s weakness at the same time. As intended, Uhm Won-sang picked up the ball and scored.
Ulsan, who had been dominant this season, had faltered in their last five matches with just one win (1-1) and three draws. A loss to rival Jeonbuk could have sent them into a prolonged slump, but in such a big game, the experienced Lee Chung-yong came to the rescue with one of his ‘difference-making’ passes.
Especially in the second half, when Jeonbuk was pushing his teammates hard, Lee led a nerve-wracking battle of wills. He would either mediate with a gentle smile or take it hard, depending on the situation. On this day, when Jeonbuk responded strongly to the rivalry and a one-goal deficit, he kept his teammate from sinking by laying down fire.
Lee Chung-yong wore the captain’s armband last year and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after helping Ulsan win its first K League 1 title in 17 years.
The 1988-born player, who is in his twilight years, has played 25 league games this season, making just two starts, but his determination to do his part in his own time has seen him come on as a late substitute and play a game-changing role.카지노
“No matter how old a player is, it’s not easy for a player with Lee Cheong-yong’s career to accept the role of a substitute instead of a starter. Not only his performance, but also his role in helping Ulsan move towards a single goal regardless of whether he is a starter or a non-starter is very important.”