Veteran striker closes in on milestone in pro football's 2nd half

By Yonhap
  • Published : Aug 2, 2017 - 11:37
  • Updated : Aug 11, 2017 - 13:10

Veteran football striker Lee Dong-gook is closing in on yet another milestone as the second half of the season is about to begin.

Lee, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors forward, is sitting at 196 goals for his K League Classic career. The 38-year-old is already the league's all-time scoring leader, and he is four away from 200 with 15 matches remaining. The season resumes Wednesday after an All-Star break.

In the first half, Lee made 16 appearances -- five in starts and 11 off the bench -- and scored four times.

If Lee keeps up the pace and plays every game of the second half, Lee could get to 200 on the number this year.

In this file photo taken on July 23, 2017, Lee Dong-gook of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors scores against FC Seoul in the teams' K League Classic match at Seoul World Cup Stadium. (Yonhap)
Though Lee has long been known for taking great care of himself, he has slowed down toward the end of some recent seasons.

"When I am playing, I am not thinking about my age," Lee said recently. "If I maintain the current rate of scoring, I think I can reach double figures this season."

With 68 assists for his career, Lee is two helpers away from becoming the first player with at least 70 goals and 70 assists.

Another veteran, Yeom Ki-hun of Suwon Samsung Bluewings, is close to setting a milestone of his own. He has 59 goals and 95 assists for his career, and one more goal will make him just the fifth player ever with at least 60 goals and 60 helpers.

Yeom's high-scoring teammate, Johnathan, has his sights set on a couple of goal-scoring records. He has scored two or more goals in a league-record four consecutive matches. He can extend his own record later Wednesday against Ulsan Hyundai.

Johnathan is leading the competition with 18 goals so far. He's 14 away from breaking the current single-season record, set by FC Seoul's Dejan Damjanovic in 2012. (Yonhap)