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Son Heung-min nears to reach Cha Boom's record

Posted April. 07, 2017 07:17,   

Updated April. 07, 2017 07:23

Attention is focusing on whether Son Heung-min (25) will surpass the record of most goals scored in a single season in the European leagues by a Korean soccer player set by Cha Bum-keun (64) who was nicknamed "Cha Boom."

Son of Tottenham Hotspur FC of the English Premier League scored his 16th goal of the season in an away match against Swansea City FC at Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales in the U.K. on Thursday. Son shot with his right foot the ball passed off the heel by his teammate Vincent Janssen in the 46th minute in the second half, when the two teams were tying 1-1 in the match where he started. The shot hit the opponent team’s goalie before being bent to enter the goal. Tottenham won the game 3-1 by scoring an additional goal in the 49th minute in the second half. “The match was incredible. I feel great because I scored a dramatic goal,” Son said in his Instagram post after the game.

Son, who scored the upset finisher, has had nine goals overall in this season of the English Premier League, surpassing the record of most goals scored in a single season of the EPL by an Asian player, which was previously held by fellow Korean Ki Sung-yueng (28, Swansea City). Ki joined the match as a substitute in the 27th minute in the second half, and witnessed Son set the new record. “Congratulate Soni (Son’s nickname). Let’s go all the way to break the record going forward,” Ki said in his Instagram post with his photo with Son, congratulating on the milestone after the match.

In this season, Son has had a total of 16 goals including nine in the EPL, six in the FA Cup, and one in the UEFA Champions League. He is lagging only three goals behind the record of most goals (19 goals) scored in a single season by a Korean player in the European leagues, which was set by Cha Bum-keun in the 1985-1986 season. Son challenged to break Cha’s record in the 2014-2015 season when the former was playing for the Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga, but had to end the journey at 17 goals. But expectations are mounting that Son may be able to set a new record in this season because he has at least nine matches to play including eight matches in the EPL, and the semifinal in the FA Cup, with his scoring ability also revived. Son, who has scored in two consecutive matches in the EPL, is ranked third overall in his team’s score rankings in the EPL after Harry Kane (19 goals) and Dele Alli (15 goals), although Son has been playing matches as a starting member and sitting in the bench in this season.

Tottenham, which is ranking second and tracing frontrunner Chelsea FC (72 points) in the league, can continue dreaming about winning the EPL championship thanks to Son’s finishing goal.

Yun-Cheol Jeong trigger@donga.com