Kangwon FC striker Lee Sang-hun is emerging as the best striker in the K-League in the early days of this season under the leadership of his former coach Yoon Jeong-hwan.

He scored multiple goals in an away match of the sixth round of the 2024 K-League 1 against Jeonbuk Hyundai on Tuesday, leading his team’s 3-2 win, and became the lone top scorer with a total of seven goals. Lee, who has already exceeded his personal best record in a season, expressed his ambition, saying, “I will score at least 10 goals to meet Yoon’s expectations.”

Lee Sang-hun used to be a high-profile resource since he was a national team player by age, but failed to secure an opportunity in Ulsan Hyundai (currently Ulsan HD). At the end of 2016, then Ulsan coach Yoon Jeong-hwan called up promising player Lee Sang-hun to the first team at the youth team Ulsan Hyundai High School. However, they parted ways when Yoon took the helm of the J-League’s Cerezo Osaka the following year. The coach demanded the recruitment at Cerezo after paying attention to Lee’s goal-scoring ability and high soccer intelligence, but the request fell through due to Ulsan’s high demand for a transfer fee.

Lee Sang-hun is a multiplayer who can play various positions on the offensive end, ranging from striker to left winger and striker midfielder. He was evaluated as a player who has a good sense of humor and skills and can make a difference in the offensive end with instantaneous speed and dribbling.

He spent more time with other teams than Ulsan. In 2018, he left for the Jeonnam Dragons as a loan player, and enhanced his value by scoring five points and two assists in 21 games. After returning to Ulsan for two seasons, he joined the Busan I’Park in 2021. He recorded 10 points and seven assists in 69 games during the three seasons in Busan. However, he was excluded from the first team’s roster under the leadership of Park Jin-seop, and at the behest of his former teacher Yoon Jeong-hwan, he signed a contract with Gangwon as a free agent this season. Lee Sang-hun said in an interview that he met with Yoon for the first time in eight years. He had a great influence on the team’s choice.

After the reunion with manager Yoon Jeong-hwan, Lee has been displaying his original talents to the fullest. Had he not stepped down as a substitute in the match against Jeonbuk, he displayed such brilliant moves that a hat trick would have been possible. After scoring the first penalty kick in the first half, in the 29th minute of the second half, when the opponent team was ahead 2-1, Lee immediately rushed to the gate as soon as the opponent team stole the ball under pressure, and shot Yago’s pass again to shake the net. Amid Kangwon FC’s offensive system, which produces many promised pattern plays, chances for Lee to score goals are expected to increase further in the future.

Lee Sang-hun has already tied with the seven goals he scored in Busan during the 2022 season with seven goals in the first half of this season. When asked how many goals he will aim for in the future as a good player after the match against Jeonbuk, he said, “I originally didn’t have a goal for points. When Coach Yoon Jeong-hwan told me to score more than 10, that’s when I felt like I wanted to score more than 10 goals. I scored seven goals, but I will try to score more goals.”

Another important point to note is whether Lee Dong-kyung, who played with Hyundai High School in Ulsan, and the race to become the top scorer, will continue. Lee is ranking second alone in the scoring list with five goals, two goals behind him. Lee replied, “I am focusing only on the soccer that we want to play. I feel like I am lucky enough to have a chance, so I am trying my best on the mission given.”

Lee Sang-hun was highly anticipated as a player in charge of Ulsan’s Under-22 (U-22) quarter ahead of the 2019 season, but he lost the early part of the season due to a broken pre-season fatigue. Meanwhile, Lee Dong-kyung was outstanding in the same position, losing ground in the main competition. 안전놀이터

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