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Son scores team’s first goal under manager Conte

Posted November. 06, 2021 07:12,   

Updated November. 06, 2021 07:12


Tottenham Hotspur‘s Son Heung-min has become the first player to score since his team welcomed a new coach.

Son was a starting player and scored at the 15th minute in the first half of the fourth match against Vitesse FC (Netherlands) in Group G of the 2021-2022 UEFA Europa Conference League, which took place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, the UK on Friday. When Lucas Moura’s shot was blocked by the goalie and bounced back, Son kicked a cross shot at the right-hand side of the goal to score.

Son scored the first goal after Antonio Conte made debut as the team’s coach. Son has continued the tradition of presenting the first goals to the coaches that have joined the team recently. He scored the first goal at the 36th minute in the first half of the match against the West Ham United FC to lead his team’s 3-2 win soon after Jose Mourinho assumed the Tottenham Hotspur coach in November 2019. He also scored the first goal in the opening match against the Manchester City FC of the 2021-2022 English Premier League to secure his team’s 1-0 win when Nuno Espírito Santo replaced coach Mourinho on August 29.

Friday’s goal was Son’s fifth goal in this season. Whenever his team welcomed a new coach, Son played a pivotal role and demonstrated his position as a key pillar of the team. Coaches that have joined the team bestowed Son an important role to play from the very first math, and Son demonstrated his value by scoring goals in return every time.

On the fact he scored the first goal under Conte’s leadership, Son said, “(That) would not be important. It is important to help the team, and I cannot score without teammates’ help,” adding, “I have played under the guidance of great coaches including Mauricio Pochettino, Mourinho, Santo, and Conte. I am committed to learning more going forward.”

While Tottenham was leading the match due to Son’s goal, the team saw Mora score additional goal at the 22nd minute before adding a score at the 28th minute with the opponent team’s own goal, which brought the overall score to 3-0. However, the team lost goals in succession at the 32nd minute and the 39th minute, which sent the score to 3-2. Further when Cristian Romer was forced to exit at the 14th minute in the second half due to violations, the team was outnumbered by the opponent team. However, it managed to concentrate on defense during the remaining game to effectively block the opponent team from adding a goal. Tottenham (winning points of 7) rose to No. 2 in the group after the frontrunner Stade Rennais (winning points of 10) of France. Son was replaced at the 27th minute in the second half.

Tottenham will have a showdown with the Everton FC in the English Premier League on Monday. Tottenham is now ranked 9th with winning points of 15 and is fiercely competing with the 10th-ranked Everton FC whose winning points is 14 in order to widen the narrow score gap. Tottenham, which is now under Conte’s leadership, aims to switch the mood with the upcoming match against Everton as a turning point in the English Premier League as well. Son has a more important role to player under coach Conte, who has kick-started a reform drive.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com