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Son Heung-min adds 2 goals, 1 assist in match against Watford

Son Heung-min adds 2 goals, 1 assist in match against Watford

Posted April. 10, 2017 07:11,   

Updated April. 10, 2017 08:52


“Son is armed with shooting capability and speed, which are the best virtues for a striker. He has not played as a regular starting member due to his team’s situation, but he has nonetheless demonstrated his capability without reservation in recent months," said KBSN soccer commentator Kim Dae-gil. "Genuine strikers who advanced to foreign leagues (from Korea) are only two, namely Cha Bum-keun and Son Heung-min, and Son will open a new chapter in history.”

“He did not fully adapt himself to the English Premier League, and frequently revealed shortcomings including lack of skills in team play in the last season. Recently, his strengths sufficiently overwhelm his weaknesses," said KBS soccer commentator Han Joon-hee. "If he maintains his current pace, he will have his play time guaranteed whichever formation Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino choose to use. He is a highly efficient player.”

All the goals his team had (in the game) were scored through his feet. Son Heung-min (25) of Tottenham Hotspur FC missed his first hat trick as an individual player in the EPL, but is rewriting the history of Korea’s strides in European leagues.

In a home game against Watford FC, round 31 of the EPL 2016-2017 season in White Hart Lane, London, on Saturday, Son scored his 10th and 11th goal in the league, spearheading his team’s landslide 4-0 win. He provided an assist to Deli Alli (21) for the opening goal in the 33rd minute of the first half, before scoring goals in succession in the 44th minute of the first half and the 10th minute of the second half. It was not recorded as an assist, but his team’s second goal in the 39th minute of the first half also resulted from his shot.

On Thursday, Son recorded the most goals scored by an Asian player in a regular season of the EPL by scoring his ninth goal in a game against Swansea City FC. With two goals on Saturday, he has become the first Asian player to have two-digit goals scored in a regular season, while increasing the total number of goals to 18 in this season including the FA Cup. Son is also just one goal shy of most goals (19) scored by a Korean player in a single season in the European leagues, which was set by Cha Bum-keun in the Bundesliga in the 1985-1986 season. Son has garnered seven goals in the latest five matches including the hat trick he had in the quarterfinal against Millwall FC (tertiary league) in the FA Cup last month.

Manager Pochettino replaced Son in the 43rd minute of the second half with the intention to prompt his home ground fans to give him a standing ovation. Son, who returned to the bench and had hug with Pochettino for a while, was picked as the "Man of the Match" by the BBC. “I wish to use the word ‘sensational’ for Son Heung-min.’ He is a top-class player. I deserves enthusiastic hug from Coach Pochettino,” John Hartson, an ex-member of the Wales national team, said on the BBC. The soccer statistics site WhoScored.com gave Son a score of 9.22. He was the only one among the players of both teams to receive a score at the nine-point level.

The two goals that Son scored on the day have increased his goal ranking in the EPL to tie for 12th. The 12th-ranked players have a two-goal gap versus the players tied for 10th, and depending on his performance in the remaining matches, Son may be able to become the first Asian to join the top 10 in the EPL goal rankings.

The previous record holder was Ki Sung-yeung, who tied for 27th by scoring eight goals in the 2014-2015 season. Tottenham has seven more games to play.

Seung-Kun Lee why@donga.com