Korean fans who watched Wednesday’s match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United on television might have heaved a sigh and thought, “What if the defender had a slightly bigger hip or if he stuck his hip out a bit further.” A long-awaited goal by Son Heung-min was disallowed by video assistant referee (VAR).
Son received the ball from Giovani Lo Celso in the penalty box and netted the ball with his right foot in the 45th minute. Son celebrated his goal, throwing his fist in the air with excitement. But the excitement did not last long. It was found after VAR check that Son’s left foot was 10 centimeters closer to the goalpost than West Ham’s right-back Ryan Fredericks’ butt the moment when Lo Celso passed the ball to Son. The head referee called off Son’s goal for offside. If the goal had not been disallowed, Son could have scored double-digit goals for four seasons in a row.
But Son was not disappointed. When Tottenham was leading 1-0 in the second half, the 27-year-old assisted Harry Kane’s goal with a sharp pass in the 82nd minute. Kane, who came back from a hamstring injury and COVID-19 induced break, celebrated his first goal in six months thanks to Son’s help. It has been 199 days since Harry Kane last scored a goal from Son’s assist on December 8 against Burnley.
After leading his team to a 2-0 victory, Son said he accepts the VAR results, adding that VAR officials made the right call and it was offside. “It was too bad but I accepted it because the call can’t be reversed,” Son said. “I believed that there will be a better chance for a goal.”. Son, who had the highest pass success rate (95.2%) among Tottenham players on Wednesday, was voted “King of the Match, garnering 59.4% of the vote by fans. Son thanked the fans who stay up late at night to watch him play by saying, “I want to entertain my fans by showing better performance.”
Yun-Cheol Jeong email@example.com