Lee Ki-hyung vs Lee Ho-jae.
The “father-daughter” duo, who play as managers and players in the K League, will go head-to-head in the Korea Football Association (FA) Cup.
Seongnam FC (K League 2), managed by Lee Ki-hyung, and Pohang Steelers (K League 1), where Lee Ho-jae plays as a striker, will meet in the round of 16 of the 2023 FA Cup at 7 p.m. on April 24 at Tancheon Sports Complex.
It has been billed as a “father-daughter” matchup. In the K League, Pohang competes in the top division and Seongnam in the second division, so the two teams can’t meet, but in the FA Cup, the matchup has been arranged. Seongnam defeated Gimcheon Sangmu on penalties in the round of 32. Pohang, which is competing in the Asian Champions League (ACL), advanced directly to the round of 16 and will play its first FA Cup game on the same day.
Lee, who earned a reputation as a “cannon shooter” during his playing days, has taken over the reins at Seongnam this season and is leading the team’s rebuild. Lee “Son” Ho-jae, who made his professional debut with Pohang in 2021, has soared this season with a multi-goal performance in the opening match of the K League 1 against Daegu FC. So far this season, he has three goals (one assist) in the league 안전놀이터.
Lee is usually sensitive about his son. Like many soccer players with soccer sons, he says, “I don’t want them to talk about him if possible. I don’t want him to feel any pressure from me.”
However, he has been known to push his son’s personal training hard in the past during the off-season. The 6-foot-2 Lee is known for his shots and headers from inside the penalty box with his back to the goal. In addition to Pohang coach Kim Ki-dong’s guidance, Lee also had the help of his father. It’s interesting to see a father and son who know each other so well facing off in a tournament on the same field.
When asked about facing Lee Ho-jae immediately after the K League 2 match against Ansan (a 3-0 win for Seongnam) on April 20, Lee said, “My son said, ‘I want you to rotate. I said, ‘Don’t even think about it,'” Lee laughed, adding, “I will respond appropriately.” Lee Ho-jae also declared a no-holds-barred confrontation with his father. “I will win the game,” he said when asked by reporters if he had anything to say to his father after the 0-0 draw against Gangwon FC in the K League 1 on Nov. 21.
Kim had previously indicated his intention to start Lee Ho-jae against Seongnam. However, it’s unclear if he will start after suffering a rotated ankle injury against Gangwon. Lee said, “The coach told me to prepare well because he will use the best 11 (against Seongnam). I’m injured, but I’ll recover and play as much as I can in the remaining time.” When asked if he had any tricks up his sleeve that his father didn’t know, he laughed and said, “I’ll do my best to come up with something like that.”
Meanwhile, Ulsan Hyundai, the overwhelming leader in the K League 1, will host Jeonnam Dragons (K League 2) in the FA Cup Round of 16. Elsewhere, Incheon-Gyeongnam, Suwon Samsung-Daegu, Jeju-Daejeon, Gimpo-Gangwon, Jeonbuk-Pajuju, and Seoul Eland-Gwangju are all battling for a spot in the quarterfinals.