Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), the “captain” of the Korean national soccer team, has displayed stellar performance, but there is only one regrettable point. He said there is no “field goal” yet.
Son has scored three goals in five matches through the quarterfinals of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup. He scored one goal each through penalty kicks in the second and third Group E matches against Jordan (2-2 draw) and the third match against Malaysia (3-3 draw). In the quarterfinals against Australia (2-1 win), Son scored a come-from-behind goal through a fantastic free kick in the first half of overtime.꽁머니사이트
Son Heung-min has three goals alongside Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who is in charge of the most goals scored in his team, and is tying for third in the score ranking at this year’s event. He is on par with Mehdi Taremi (Iran) and Oday Davag (Palestine). Oday, however, is unable to add another goal due to the elimination of the Palestinians.
The top scorer is Ayman Hussein of Iraq, who scored six goals. However, Iraq lost to Jordan 2-3 in the round of 16, and Hussein could not score more goals. At the time, he was criticized for providing an excuse for his elimination after performing a grass mukbang ceremony.
Ayase Ueda of Japan and Akram Afif of Qatar tied for second with four goals. Japan of Ueda lost to Iran 1-2 in the quarterfinals, and Qatar of Afif won against Uzbekistan after penalty shootout to advance to the semifinals. Among the players who have survived, Afif is the most advanced in scoring position.
Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in also have the top scorer in their sights. If he scores multiple goals in the two games that are left until the final, he will be the top scorer for the first time in 13 years since Koo Ja-cheol (Jeju·5 goals) at the 2011 championship.
In particular, Son Heung-min, who became the first Asian player to win the award with 22 goals in the 2021-2022 season of the English Premier League, is drawing keen attention. As he is good at driving others around, he is highly likely to challenge to become the top scorer at this year’s event.
However, it is regrettable that he does not have a field goal yet. As he is an ace, he is being kept in check by the opponent team throughout this year’s event. As he often comes down from the second to the third line of offense, he rarely has a chance to score a goal.
However, if Son runs fast, the opponent team’s defense would often falter. Jordan, in particular, allowed a penalty kick while blocking Son in the second Group E match.
Son will meet Jordan again in the semifinals after winning a penalty kick. They will have a showdown at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Alayyan, Qatar, at midnight on Saturday (Korea time).
From Jordan’s perspective, Son remains a formidable star. “Son Heung-min is a great star and has great influence,” midfielder Ibrahim Sadeh said. “We are ready to stand up to him.”
What South Korea needs the most is Son’s instinct to be a troubleshooter. Attention is focusing on whether Son will score his first field goal and win the semifinals.