Lee Geun-ho’s time in the Daegu FC jersey is over. As with everything in the world, where there is a beginning, there is an end, and Lee Geun-ho’s last game and retirement ceremony, which ended his 20-year career in the K League, was both regrettable and precious in that sense. And Lee Geun-ho fought so well in that game beyond a simple retirement ceremony and gave us a precious victory, so the regret is big and deep. In Daegu MBC’s special feature on Lee Geun-ho’s retirement, “Lee Geun-ho’s Last Dance,” we look back at the records and moments of that day.
Lee Geun-ho in the starting lineup with the captain’s armband
At the post-match press conference after the 37th round match, Daegu FC head coach Choi Won-kwon announced that Lee Geun-ho would start the game. He said that if conditions were right, he would be the first player on the field to receive a standing ovation in the match before the retirement ceremony. It was said that the club also envisioned that Lee would start the game, play until the 22nd minute, and come off to a standing ovation from the fans.레모나토토
However, on the day of the game, the situation was such that it was difficult to play without Lee Geun-ho. With the injury of striker Baselus, Lee Geun-ho’s starting spot was inevitable, even if it wasn’t a retirement ceremony, and with a heavy responsibility for the team’s attack, Lee Geun-ho wore the captain’s armband and started his last game as a player.
63 minutes of brilliance–and the BEST11 of Round 38
From the first minute, Lee looked so light on his feet. It’s a shame that he’s retiring, because he’s still got it. From his trademark burst and speed to his game coordination, he led his team to victory.
One shot (on target) and 16 passes for a 70% success rate, two forced turnovers and one foul, three interceptions and seven balls won. These few numbers are all that remain of Lee’s final Incheon game, as he played 63 minutes before being substituted 15 minutes into the second half, but the victory was bigger than the numbers.
The win for Daegu FC was not only their first in the final round, but also their first win over Incheon United this season. A sellout crowd of 12,334 tasted victory in their final home game, their last home win in three years since 2020.
The performance earned Lee a 7.2 rating, making him a 38th round pick, and it’s hard to imagine another player in the league who could perform this well in his final game.
After the game, none of Daejeon’s 10,000+ fans left their seats – they were waiting for Lee’s retirement ceremony, which was being prepared on the pitch, and some of them were already getting teary-eyed. The stage was set for the retirement ceremony, as the players made their way around the nostalgia circle and said their final goodbyes for the season.
It was the first retirement ceremony since the opening of DGB Daegu Bank Park, and the largest ever held by a civic club. The ‘Son of the Sun”s voice trembles slightly as he says his final goodbyes to the fans, and he can’t hide his tears as he thanks his family. A rousing round of applause ensues, perhaps a mixture of gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work he’s put in, and sadness that we won’t get to see more of him.
And just like that, the Son of the Sun left the field. It was the end of a long day for the Daegu FC legend, a player who spent two hours after the match taking pictures and signing autographs with fans, but the good news is that we still have one more encounter with the name Daegu FC Lee Geun-ho, and what other memories will we have of that day?