As South Korea’s captain, Son Heung-min makes a point of sharing the credit for the team’s successes and shouldering the blame for failures, and the flying forward did both after Tuesday’s impressive win over Colombia.
Without a goal for the national team since June, when he sprinted from the halfway line to slot home into an empty German net at the World Cup, Son delivered one of his best performances in a Korean shirt as the home side saw off FIFA’s 12th-ranked team in a friendly in Seoul.
Scoring the opener with a ferocious right-foot shot from inside the box, Son was a constant menace to the Colombian defence, his pace and movement giving the Koreans the perfect out-ball during periods of sustained pressure.
The 26-year-old, who now has 24 goals in 79 international appearances, said he felt his personal struggles in front of goal has been talked about more than the team’s recent good run under Portuguese coach Paulo Bento.
The Koreans have won nine of their 14 games under Bento, who took over after the World Cup, their only defeat coming in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup to eventual champions Qatar.
‘I felt like I was being a distraction to the rest of the team, because people kept mentioning my name when talking about the national team,’ he said after the game. ‘I couldn’t have scored the goal today without the sacrifices of my team mates.’