The 56th Presidential Gold Medal Tournament Round of 16 tournament bracket has been finalized, and the competition for the top goal scorer is on fire.
Striker Kim Tae-won of Seoul’s Yeongdeungpo 메이저놀이터 technical High School scored a hat trick in the team’s Group 2 final against Cheongwoongo on Thursday, quickly becoming the tournament’s top scorer with a total of four goals. Kim Tae-won was also a key player in Baekwoon’s win in February, scoring 11 goals and finishing as top scorer with his trademark drive.
Kim isn’t flashy, but he’s known for his clever positioning and high goal-scoring ability. “He is a player with good concentration and sincerity,” said Kim Jae-woong, head coach of Yeongdeungpo Public High School, “He has been a striker since his freshman year and has grown into a mainstay since his sophomore year.”
“I’m looking forward to scoring goals in every game from now on,” Kim said. However, he also expressed his hope that he would be able to overcome the opposing team’s intense defense and grow to the next level.
Kim has high hopes for Kim Tae-won. Yeongdeungpo Gonggo, founded in 1953, has never been particularly close to the gold medal. The team has been runner-up in five tournaments. “We want to write a new history by winning the championship,” Kim said, “Kim Tae-won’s scoring touch has improved. She is a key player for our team and will provide us with clues when we play tough games.”
Favorites Incheon Bupyeonggo, who have scored 18 goals in just three group games, are in the midst of a battle for top scorer. Jang Min-hyuk is the top scorer with four goals, while Choi Ha-min and Kang Kang-wook are tied for fourth with three goals apiece.
Instead of forwards Jang Min-hyuk and Choi Ha-min, Bupyeonggo coach Seo Ki-bok singled out attacking midfielder Kang Kang-wook as a player to watch for the top scorer in the higher rounds. “He has very good individual skills, including shooting and kicking,” Seo said. In previous tournaments, Kang has shown excellent vision to coordinate attack and defense, as well as the ability to score at crucial moments.
With all of their individual skills, the competition will be determined by how far their teams advance in the upper rounds. Other top scorers include Seoul Jungang Go’s Yoon Sang-won, who is tied for first with four goals, and Gyeonggi Yongho Go’s Kim Young-hyun and Kim Do-yoon, who both have three goals. Sejong U18’s Kim Min-beom, who scored three goals in the previous match but was eliminated in the group stage, and Global Sunjin Go’s Kim Dong-hyun are out of the top scorer’s race.