Pohang Lee Ho-jae, who ‘assisted Jae-hee Jeong’s goals three times’, “Brother Jae-hee, please buy me Korean beef” – Sportsneers VRESP

Pohang Steelers Lee Ho-jae is pointing to Jeong Jae-hee standing right next to him after the interview. ⓒSports Neers

(Sportsneaers | Daejeon = Reporter Kim Hyeon-hoe) Pohang Lee Ho-jae, who helped many of Jeong Jae-hee’s goals this season, mentioned the ‘Ho Jae-hee’ combination.

Pohang Steelers won a dramatic 2-1 comeback win against Daejeon Hana Citizens in the 2024 Hana Bank K League 1 held at Daejeon World Cup Stadium on the 7th. After giving up the first goal to Leandro in the first half, Pohang turned the game around with consecutive goals from Kim In-seong and Jeong Jae-hee in the second half. With the win on this day, Pohang continued its undefeated streak in the last five games (4 wins, 1 draw), while Daejeon was unable to maintain its winning streak against Ulsan. Pohang also maintained an undefeated record of 14 consecutive games (11 wins, 3 draws) before Daejeon. Pohang leapt to the top of the league with 13 points from 4 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss.

In this game, Lee Ho-jae assisted Jeong Jae-hee’s goal in extra time in the second half. In the penalty box, he received the ball with his back to him and gave it to Jeong Jae-hee, who succeeded in scoring a dramatic comeback goal in this situation. Lee Ho-jae and Jeong Jae-hee’s amazing chemistry has already appeared three times in six league games this season. In the game against Gwangju FC on the 17th of last month, Lee Ho-jae, who came on as a substitute in the 28th minute of the second half, assisted Jeong Jae-hee’s winning goal, and in the away game against Jeju United held on the 30th of last month, Lee Ho-jae followed up Jeong Jae-hee’s goal. At that time, Lee Ho-jae came on as a substitute in the 30th minute of the second half and left an impact for a short period of time.

At that time, Jeong Jae-hee calmly kicked the ball away after Lee Ho-jae competed with Kim Dong-jun. Although it was not counted as an assist in the official records, it was a scene that showed the power of the combination of Lee Ho-jae and Jeong Jae-hee. On this day, Lee Ho-jae assisted Baek Seong-dong’s goal with a header just before the end of the second half. In the match against Daejeon, Lee Ho-jae entered the 29th minute of the second half and changed the flow of the game. He was brought in when the team was down 0-1 and showed his ability by helping Kim In-seong score a goal and assisting Jeong Jae-hee’s goal again in extra time in the second half. When Lee Ho-jae, who has good RBI and strength, played with his back turned, the Daejeon defenders were helpless.

Lee Ho-jae, who met with after the game, said, “I was worried that we didn’t perform as well as we prepared today, but I’m glad that we still won 2-1. “I am satisfied that we have risen to first place in the league again,” he said. Lee Ho-jae said, “I am a striker, so I thought that if I was put in a situation where the team was losing 0-1, I had to somehow increase my attack points. The striker is a position that refers to the point of attack. I entered the stadium with the intention of making something happen somehow. The coach also has such expectations of me, so he puts me in in the second half. “It’s my fourth year now, so I need to not only work hard but show it with results,” he said.

On this day, Lee Ho-jae used his overwhelming power to set up Jeong Jae-hee’s goal. Lee Ho-jae said, “The ball came low,” and “(Heo) Yong-jun knew that his brother would spill the ball. I controlled it, but (Jeong) Jae-hee called out loudly, ‘Ho Jae-ya.’ So he connected it to Jaehee, and Jaehee finished it well. In particular, he is collaborating on goals with Jaehee this season. Jaehee has the style of running towards the back and I have the style of heading a lot, so we have something that neither of us have. “I think that opposing tendency actually creates synergy at the end of the second half,” he said with a laugh.

Pohang Steelers Lee Ho-jae and Jeong Jae-hee ⓒProvided by Korea Professional Football League

Lee Ho-jae said, “I am close to Jae-hee hyung even in normal times,” and added, “I didn’t pay much attention to the saying that I got along particularly well with Jae-hee hyung, but from today, I have come to agree that this is really true. In the previous two games, I didn’t say anything after the game, but today, after the game, I said to Jaehee, ‘Brother, I helped you today, so please buy me something to eat.’ He said he felt like they should talk when the mood was good. I helped two people before, but I was disappointed because they didn’t buy me food. So I spoke first today. Jaehee said he knew too,” he said with a bright expression. Lee Ho-jae looked at Jeong Jae-hee, who was being interviewed by reporters right next to him, and smiled in a low voice, saying, “I’m going to go eat Korean beef.”

This season, Lee Ho-jae has recorded 3 assists without scoring. He was brought in in the second half and is playing a significant role in changing the mood. Lee Ho-jae said, “Of course, if you are a striker, you want to be selected,” and “But most of the opponents against us play soccer with their feet down. If I go into the first half, it’s difficult to play to my strengths. Against the team that comes down, I have to focus on playing the role of connecting the ball. However, when I enter the second half, the opponent also comes forward to win, creating a lot of space. In order to score attack points, it is better if the opponent steps up. “As a result, I have more to do in the second half of the season, even if it’s only for a short period of time.”

At the same time, Lee Ho-jae said, “If my teammates relax the opposing defenders in the first half, it is better for me to go into the second half and move around. It is true that it is easier for me to find gaps in the second half than in the first half.” However, I will find more strengths and prepare so that I can show a good performance even if I start. “Of course there is a desire to be selected,” he said. Meanwhile, when asked, “How is your father doing these days?” Lee Ho-jae responded, “Honestly, he’s not doing well. “How will he get along in this situation?” he said. “Only my mother and older sister came to the stadium today.” Lee Ho-jae’s father, coach Lee Ki-hyung, recently resigned from Seongnam FC due to poor performance.

‘Ho Jae-hee’, a combination of Lee Ho-jae and Jeong Jae-hee, is showing off his tremendous power in taking charge of Pohang’s final moments in the second half. Jeong Jae-hee, who heard Ho-jae Lee’s advice to ‘take it easy’, met with and readily responded to Ho-jae Lee. Jeong Jae-hee said, “Of course I have to give it a try,” and added, “Even so, after today’s game, Ho-jae asked me to buy him a meal, so I asked him to set a date.” When he said, “Lee Ho-jae wants Korean beef,” Jeong Jae-hee smiled bitterly, nodded her head, and left the stadium.

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