Auxerre’s forward Jung Jo-gook scored his debut goal in the French top-division league just six minutes after coming on as a late substitute as the team drew 1-1 on Sunday with Marseille.
Jung, who joined the French side earlier this year, had started only one game this season, and failed to score a goal in his 10 appearances.
Jung Jo-gook celebrates his goal. (AP-Yonhap News)
But on Sunday, the Korean forward answered his manager’s call with a goal that earned the team a crucial point against the league’s top runner.
The host Marseille dominated the game but did not open the scoring until Mathieu Valbuena netted 10 minutes after the break. From then on, it looked almost like another defeat for the struggling Auxerre. Jung, who came on in the 70th minute, leveled the score with 14 minutes from time.
The forward ran into a long cross before beating an offside trap. And he slipped the ball underneath the goalkeeper to claim his first goal for the club. The goal denied Marseille’s chance to retake the top spot in Ligue 1, and boosted their chances of avoiding relegation.
In Ligue 1, three bottom teams are relegated to the second division at the end of the season. Jung’s goal on Sunday took the team to 15th, level on points with Valenciennes, Monaco, Caen and Nice.
The 27-year-old had an eight-year spell in the K-League with FC Seoul before moving to France. He earned the rookie of the year award in his debut season in 2003.
The 186cm-tall forward enjoyed a career-best season last year, scoring 13 goals to help FC Seoul win the 2010 K-League title, which eventually earned him a move to the French top league.
He became the third Korean footballer to have joined Ligue 1, following in the footsteps of AS Monaco’s Park Chu-young and Nam Tae-hee of Valenciennes.
By Oh Kyu- wook (email@example.com