“I apologize to the fans.”
Baek Seung-ho (26-North Hyundai) may have had a good year in soccer, but he’s not smiling, and he knows he’s responsible for his team’s poor performance.
Baek Seung-ho captained the Korean national soccer team to a gold medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) last month. After applying to Gimcheon Commerce to join the military, Baek Seung-ho won his dream gold medal, solved his military service problem, and gave his soccer career wings. At a slightly younger age, he could once again dream of going overseas.
“I think (winning the AG gold medal) has eased my mind a lot,” Baek Seung-ho smiled after leading Incheon United to victory in the FA Cup quarterfinals on April 1.
But two weeks later, his mood has changed dramatically. Jeonbuk hasn’t gotten results in all of its important matches. On April 4, Jeonbuk lost to the Pohang Steelers in the FA Cup final, a game that Baek Seung-ho was confident of winning. This is the first time in a decade that Jeonbuk has not won a trophy since 2013. After a lackluster season in the K League 1, Jeonbuk tried to redeem itself in the FA Cup, but it didn’t work.
They were also lost on the Asian stage. Even before Jeonbuk could forget the pain of missing out on the top spot in the FA Cup, they lost their fourth round Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) group stage match against Ryan City (Singapore) on August 8, making it difficult for them to advance to the round of 16. A 1-1 draw against Incheon in the league four days later also left the club with no hope of qualifying for the AFC’s top tier competition.
Baek Seung-ho, Jeonbuk’s midfield commander, said in a heavy voice after the match against Incheon on the 12th, “I think we have to approach the game with the idea of winning unconditionally. We need to save each ball (handle it carefully), rethink and play more eagerly,” he said.
Although the team’s poor performance was not his fault, Baek Seung-ho was remorseful. “I’m sorry for the fans and disappointed in myself,” he said, “I think I’ve been lacking a lot (this year).” “I want to show a better performance in the remaining games,” he vowed. 토토사이트
Jeonbuk, fourth in the league, has just two matches left this season against Gwangju FC and Ulsan Hyundai. With FA Cup winners Pohang Steelers likely to finish the season in the top three, Jeonbuk (54 points) must overtake current third-place Gwangju (58 points) in their remaining two games to secure a spot in the ACLE for the 2024-25 season.