Korea loses 0-2 to Jordan in the semifinals, Son Heung-min scores 3 goals, ends the Asian Cup unfortunately
Son Heung-min (Tottenham), the star of Korean soccer, unfortunately packed his bags after failing to lift the trophy in his fourth Asian Cup.
The national soccer team led by coach Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany) lost 0-2 to Jordan in the semifinals of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup held at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, at midnight on the 7th (Korean time).
Klinsmann’s challenge to win the tournament, which was called ‘zombie soccer’ and had a dramatic comeback, has now come to an end.
They finished second in Group E of the group stage and advanced to the round of 16, winning 4-2 against Saudi Arabia in a close penalty shootout, and in the quarterfinals, they achieved a dramatic 2-1 victory over Australia after overtime. Captain Son Heung-min’s wonderful free kick winning goal made Klinsmann smile.
However, the journey was unable to overcome Jordan’s sandstorm and came to a halt at the threshold of the finals.
Son Heung-min, the top scorer in the English Premier League (EPL), scored three goals in this tournament, scoring his seventh goal in the Asian Cup. He was tied for second place with Suwon FC general manager Choi Soon-ho for the most goals scored by a Korean player in the Asian Cup. 1st place is Lee Dong-gook (10 goals).
In this tournament, Son Heung-min tried to find a way out in the attack by going back and forth between the front line and the second line, but he struggled with the opponent’s concentration. In his fourth Asian Cup, he was hoping to reclaim the top spot in Asia after 64 years and lift a monumental trophy, but he failed to achieve it.
Son Heung-min first appeared at the Asian Cup in 2011 in Qatar.
He appeared as the youngest member of the national team and scored his international debut goal in the group stage match against India.
In this tournament, Korea advanced to the semifinals, but lost in a penalty shootout after drawing 2-2 with Japan. Final score was 3rd.
In the 2015 Australian tournament, he scored three goals and established himself as the center of the attack, but suffered frustration on the brink of victory. In the final, we went into overtime against the host country, Australia, but we couldn’t help but smile.
In the second half of extra time when the team was down 0-1, Son Heung-min scored a dramatic equalizer to send the game into overtime, but allowed James Troisi to score the game-winning goal in the 15th minute of the first half of extra time.
They lost 1-2 and had to be satisfied with second place. At that time, Son Heung-min shed tears.
Four years later, in the 2019 tournament, they were defeated 0-1 by Qatar in the quarterfinals and their challenge was halted.
Korea, which gained momentum with a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the quarterfinals against Australia, suffered a blow to Jordan, ranked 87th in the FIFA rankings. He was so poor that he could not record a single effective shot.
Son Heung-min, who opened his mouth with difficulty in an interview with a broadcaster, said, “I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry. “The players did their best, but I am so sorry and disappointed that it ended like this due to a mistake.”
He continued, “I am so grateful (to the people) and I am sorry. “You gave me an incredible amount of support until late at night, but I’m sorry that I couldn’t show you a better performance than expected,” he said. “I will work hard to improve myself as a soccer player and help the national team improve further in the future.” “I’m sorry,” he said, repeatedly lowering his head.
Son Heung-min could not raise his head during the interview.
Born in 1992, Son Heung-min will be in his mid-30s in 2027, when the next tournament is held. This tournament may be the last Asian Cup.
Son Heung-min met reporters at the joint reporting area and said, “Please reprimand me. “I want to tell the players that they did a really good job,” he said, taking care of his teammates as captain.
◇ Next is a Q&A with Son Heung-min
- You ran without stopping until the semifinals.
“I’m very upset and don’t know what to say. Soccer is a sport where you win and lose repeatedly, but it seems true that you lost because you were not good enough. For a game like today, Jordan prepared really well and played a good game. I think it should be praised. It was a tournament where I felt inadequate and lacking in leading the team. “There was a lot of sacrifice and dedication from many players, but I feel sorry and apologetic to them for not being able to get the results I wanted.”
-We went through two extensions, but what was the physical strain?
“This is the best answer to avoid this situation. However, when playing soccer, that is how you win and that is how you maintain a good atmosphere, so I don’t think that can be the reason. Since it was the semifinals, I think there was a little bit of tension and lack of experience. I would like to think that it was a game that will help young players grow in the future. I wish it became stronger. You must be very disappointed and having a hard time going through a semi-final like this. “I want to reprimand me and tell our players that they did a really good job.”
-I’m working with director Klinsmann.
“Before that, I think I should first think about whether I can continue to play for the national team in the future. This is because the director may not think of me and I don’t know what the future holds. From the director’s perspective, I think it’s natural for many people to criticize it. I think it’s unfortunate that the coach was reprimanded for disappointing and losing in the semifinals after bringing the team here to win the Asian Cup. There must have been a lot of pressure on the coach because people didn’t like him before the tournament, but he overcame the difficult situation well. I was impressed by the way he didn’t give up even when it came to caring for the players. I think the director also had an opportunity to become stronger through this opportunity. I played with the national team for a year, and when I return to Korea, I think I will do more analysis and build a stronger team. “As for the next problem, I don’t know what my future will be like when I get called up, so I think I’ll have to think about it.”
-Is there anything you would like to say to soccer fans?
“As captains of a team, our players really did their best. It’s true that I did my best every single day to please my fans. You can make mistakes while playing soccer, and I hope you don’t be sensitive to that. The players did nothing wrong and I think I should receive the reprimand. I think I fell down here because I showed my shortcomings in a situation where I had to take responsibility and lead this team. Thank you for your support and I am sure you watched the game with expectations of being able to make it to the finals at a late hour, but I am sorry that I could not fulfill your expectations. I am proud as a citizen of the Republic of Korea, and as a citizen of the Republic of Korea, I feel a great sense of responsibility for facing this situation. “I will become a player who works harder to make the people proud.” 스포츠토토