‘Rentboy’ Jin Sung-wook, who made Lee Gi-hyung a ‘winning type’ again

It didn’t take long for striker Jin Sung-wook (29-Seongnam) to ease the worries of his ‘teacher’, Seongnam FC head coach Lee Ki-hyung (48). Jin scored the team’s second and third goals in a 3-2 win over Busan in the 21st round of the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 on Saturday at Busan Asiadju Stadium. Jinsung-wook, who was loaned to Seongnam from Jeju at the end of last month by coach Lee, exploded onto the scene against Busan in his first start since his loan. Thanks to his performance, Seongnam won for the first time in about two months and seven games, setting the stage for a rebound.

The “chemistry” between Jinsung Wook and Lee “exploded” about a month after their reunion. Jinsung-wook and Lee formed a close bond when they worked together in Incheon’s retention fight from 2015 to 2016. Lee, who was the head coach in 2015, took over as acting coach from September to November 2016 and led the team to a dramatic first-place finish. One of the main contributors to their success was Jin Sung-wook. After making his professional debut with Incheon in 2012, Jin Sung-wook scored five goals and provided three assists in 2016. That’s still his most offensive points in a single season.

Lee was recognized for his leadership skills and was named head coach after the season, shedding the acting tag. However, his brief encounter with Jinsung Wook was short-lived. Jinsung-wook was transferred to Jeju. Lee went on to coach Busan I-Park before taking the helm of Seongnam this season. Except for his time in the military, Jinsung-wook has always played for Jeju. The unlikely master and pupil were reunited this summer. The interests of Seongnam, who were looking to bolster their attacking line due to a long-term injury to captain Shim Dong-woon, and Jeju, who needed to clear out their squad, aligned. Thus, Seongnam had a “top-notch” striker among the available players.

Lee said he was concerned about Jin’s “elongation”. He was worried that he had lost his long-range power, but the power and aggression he showed on the training field were the same as in Incheon. He firmly believed that he could play well again if he solved the problem of not playing official games for nearly four months. Jin Sung-wook gritted his teeth and tried. He vowed to dedicate himself to “the coach who wanted me.”

His game sense returned quickly. After warming up in the previous matches against Chungbuk Cheongju and Gimpo, Jin Sung-wook showed his true colors against Busan, which has one of the tightest defenses in K League 2 this season. In the 45th minute, he caught the ball about 45 meters from the goal and split the goal with an accurate shot after seeing the goalkeeper clear his line, and in the 24th minute, he added another goal with a sensational chip shot on the counterattack. 안전놀이터 Jin’s toes were very sharp. “We needed a player who can make decisions,” said Lee, who became the ‘winning brother’ as he was nicknamed at Incheon. Jinsung-wook is determined to make it two wins in a row with back-to-back goals at home against leader Gyeongnam FC on the 19th.

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