Can the toes of the ‘only national team’ save the day?

It’s the toe of Lee Ki-je (32) that could save Suwon in crisis.

Suwon is still in last place in the K League 1. Suwon lost 1-2 against Gwangju FC in the 17th round at the Gwangju Football Stadium on July 7. The team scored the first goal of the game, but conceded two goals in the second half to lose. It was Suwon’s 13th loss in the league (2 wins, 2 draws).

After recording two draws and eight defeats in their first 10 league games, Suwon hoped to turn things around when new coach Kim Byung-soo took over last month, but they have now lost their last four matches. The team’s performance has improved, but the results have not.

With the team once again in crisis, Suwon’s eyes have turned to Lee Ki-je, the only international in the squad. The left wing-back has made 스포츠토토 16 league appearances this season, scoring two goals and providing three assists. He has also been named to the Best 11 of the K League Rounds twice. His trademark left-footed kick is a potent weapon for Suwon. Four of Suwon’s 16 goals this season have come from free kicks (two indirect and two direct).

Both of Suwon’s league wins this season have come courtesy of the striker. In the first win, against Incheon United in Round 11, Lee scored the game-winning goal from a free kick. In the second win, against Gangwon FC in Round 13, he set up the opening goal with a sharp cross. Suwon, which has lost four straight games, is looking to Lee again.

Suwon’s last opponent before the A-Match break in June is Incheon. Suwon got off to the worst possible start this year, going winless in their first 10 league games, drawing two and losing eight. However, in the 11th round of the league, they came from behind to record their first win against Incheon. It will be interesting to see if Suwon can get back to winning ways against Incheon. The two teams will meet at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on May 11 at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, Lee Ki-jae has been named to the A squad for two consecutive A matches in June (Peru on June 16 and El Salvador on June 20). Last month, before the roster was announced, he was asked about his call-up and said, “Honestly, I want the team to do better now,” and hoped for a rebound in Suwon. Lee was even more desperate for the team to win.

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