FC Seoul veteran midfielder Ko Yo-han scored a brilliant goal in his first start in a year and five months to help the club win the Super Match.
Ko started the away match against Suwon Samsung in the 29th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Feb. 2.
After severely injuring his Achilles tendon in April last year, Go had been out of the lineup for more than a year and had only been used as a substitute for two games in June.
However, acting head coach Kim Jin-gyu decided that a veteran with a “fighting chicken” mentality like Ko was needed for the Super Match, so he boldly put him in the starting lineup.
Go dominated the Big Bird’s midfield for the first 45 minutes. Seoul held on to Ilyuchenko’s goal in the first minute to win 1-0, and Ko was subbed off at the start of the second half.
Seoul snapped a six-match winless streak (four draws and two defeats) and gained a foothold in the Final A race.
Rival Suwon remained in the relegation zone in 11th place.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Go Yo-han said, “I think my mindset was different because my first start was a super match. I told my teammates that it was a good opportunity to send Suwon to the relegation zone and that we should use it to move up to the top split (Final A),” he smiled.
As the team’s most senior player, Goyohan’s comments were a mixture of pride at being able to return to the starting lineup in the SuperMatch and animosity towards Suwon.
“I think it’s because I’m a senior that I’ve been trying to help the younger players around me get more balls. I’m glad I was able to finish my comeback game with a win.”
Kim and Goyohan shared the field together as rookies.
“I’m supposed to call him ‘coach,’ but it’s awkward, so I keep calling him ‘brother,'” he said, smiling, “but I’ll get used to it over time.”
Ko is 35 years old. He could retire at any time.
“I have a few more years of active duty left, and I want to win a championship in that time (before retirement),” he said emphatically.
If the first half was dominated by Go, the second half was dominated by goalkeeper Choi Cheol-won.
Choi stopped Suwon’s onslaught in the final minutes with a series of saves.
Choi, who moved to Seoul from Bucheon FC in the K League 2 ahead of this season, had been shaky in the third-round match against Ulsan Hyundai, making a silly mistake of catching a back pass with his hand, and was benched.
His performance in the Super Match was a definite “turning point” in his competition for a starting spot.
“I remembered a lot of things that I’ve been doing poorly, and I was happy and happy,” said Choi, who sat on the ground for a while after the match. I had mixed feelings,” he said.
“My teammates, including the late John, said, ‘We won because of you. I will grow even more through the competition for the starting position,” he said. 파워볼