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Expectations are high for an Asian Golden Boot winner

Posted May. 14, 2022 07:33,   

Updated May. 14, 2022 07:33


Tottenham star Son Heung-min, 30, scored his 21st goal of the season, raising expectations for becoming the first Asian Golden Boot winner. Thanks to Son’s stellar performance, Tottenham are continuing its race for the fourth place thanks to Son’s performance.

In the North London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal on Thursday, Son led his team to a 3-0 victory, winning a penalty and scoring a goal in the 47th minute.

Scoring goals in three straight games and his 21st goal of the season, Son moved himself one goal behind Mohamed Salah in the Golden Boot race. In addition to a goal Son scored in the UEFA Europa Conference League, he has 22 goals of this season, which is tied with his career high of 22 in the 2020-21 season. Son is also tied for most goals scored in one season by an Asian player in first division leagues in Europe. Iran’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh scored 21 goals in 33 games while playing for AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie in the 2017-18 season, becoming the first Asian player to win top scorer title in first division leagues in Europe.


All 21 goals scored by Son are field goals. The only Tottenham player, who scored more goals than Son excluding penalty kicks, is Harry Kane. He scored 24 goals in the 2016-17 season and 28 in the 2017-18 season.

Son contributed to all three goals of Tottenham that night. He won a penalty in the 22nd minute, allowing Kane to finish a penalty kick. In the 33rd minute, Rob Holding of Arsenal received a second yellow card after he caught Son. He was sent off as he already received his first yellow card against Son in the 26th minute. Holding committed four fouls before being sent off, all of them against Son. In the 37th minute, Son’s corner was met by Rodrigo Bentancur, whose header was diverted in by Kane. Son scored a goal with his right foot in the 47th minute.

As Son was unusually substituted off in the 72nd minute, he was visually disappointed. Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte explained why he brought out Son, saying that he has an important role to play against Burnley on Sunday. “I was not mad but was just disappointed,” Son said. “I wanted to play more minutes but I understand the coach’s decision and will prepare well for the next game.” The BBC gave Son 8.22, the highest rating of both teams, saying he finished off any hopes Arsenal had when he fired in two minutes after half-time. The Football. London also gave Son the highest rating of eight along with Kane.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com