“I apologized to Sejingya, and I decided to buy beef for (Hwang) Jae-won.”
Go Jae-hyun “Go Jagi” Ko, 24, who scored goals in two consecutive games to lead Daegu FC to its first back-to-back wins, has a funny story to tell. Daegu won 1-0 against Daejeon Hana Citizen in the 14th round of the K League 1 on March 20 with a goal from Go Jae-hyun. It was Daegu’s second consecutive ‘clean sheet’ after a 2-0 win against Gwangju, and their first back-to-back wins of the season.
The balance of the tense match was broken in first-half stoppage time. Go Jae-hyun scored his second consecutive goal and fifth goal of the season off a cross from Hwang Jae-won (21) to give Daegu their first back-to-back wins. He shared his first goal of the season with Hwang Jae-won. “Jae-won helped me with two goals last year,” said Ko. We were always standing together on the right side, so I joked, ‘Jae-won, when are you going to give me an assist this year? I’ll buy you a meal if you do it,’ but he did it in an important game. I said, ‘Thank you. When I said I’d buy him meat, he said, ‘I’ll eat beef,'” he laughed. ‘Hwasubun’ Daegu Kindergarten, Go Jae-hyun Hwang Jae-won Park Se-jin and other young guns have also been outstanding this season. “Coach (Choi Won-kwon) and President Cho Kwang-rae have a great eye for young players,” said Ko. “The players who come every year are so good. When I look at Se-jin and Jae-won, they are much better than me at their age. It’s motivating to see the juniors.” The consolation prize is Se Jing-ya, the league’s strongest striker, and Lee Geun-ho, the ’85-born jin-pro. In the 39th minute of the second half, Ko Jae-hyun rushed past a defender and took a direct shot instead of passing to Sejingya. The confident shot went just over the crossbar. “Sejingya laughed and said, ‘I don’t pass, I just shoot.’ To be honest, I went in with eye contact with Sejingya, but the defense was in place and I didn’t have the passing angle. I said, ‘I’m sorry. I promised to give it to her next time,” he laughed. Ko Jae-hyun added, “I learn a lot from (Lee) Geun-ho-hyung. We’re in the same position, so we know each other’s struggles. I ask him a lot of questions, and he always gives me good advice.” He expressed his gratitude.
In addition to the back-to-back goals, Ko’s sprinting and activity levels were the center of attention. He was the most active player in the entire K League in April. According to the ‘April K League 1 Activity’ data released by the Korea Professional Football Association, Go traveled a total of 70.17 kilometers, ranking third in the category and first in the number of sprints (244) and distance (4.987 kilometers). “Even in the youth national team, I was always ranked in terms of the amount of running I did. My brothers told me it’s a good habit, especially since Daegu’s team tactics often involve dropping down and sprinting,” he says, giving credit to teamwork.
The secret to his ‘crazy’ activity is desperation. 스포츠토토 After scoring 13 goals last year and being recognized as one of the top young guns in the K League, Go gritted his teeth this year. “I want to prove that I’m not just a flash in the pan,” he said. “I’m aiming for double-digit goals, a spot at the Hangzhou Asian Games, and a gold medal, and I’m whipping myself to say, ‘I can do more,'” he said. “My coach told me that if it was this hard, a player like Son Heung-min would have retired already. I agree. There are players like that, but it’s not the time for us to say it’s hard.”
Like Son, Go has a pre-game “prayer” routine. “I always say the same thing to myself before I get on the field. “I always tell myself the same thing before I get on the field: ‘Today, I want to stay injury-free, don’t try to do well, don’t be greedy, and give everything I can without regret.’ When the game gets tough, I keep repeating ‘I can do it,’ ‘it’s not tough,’ and ‘I have to do it,'” he said. “‘I can do it,’ ‘I can score a goal,’ ‘I can win,'” he continued. “‘Let’s just think about this game, let’s think about it as the last one,’ and when I hear the fans’ chants of ‘Go Jae, Go Jae, Go Jae,’ I get excited. I can’t help but sing along. With fans like this, I can’t help but do my best every game. I can’t help but go one step further.” This is how Ko “Gojagi” Jae-hyun became the most played player in the K League and scored five goals in 14 games. Ko’s Daegu will try to make it three straight away wins this season when they face Suwon Samsung in the FA Cup Round of 16 at 7 p.m. on April 24.