Son Heung-min could have been the hero again. Son, South Korea Football World Cup team captain and Tottenham Hotspur star, scored in his second successive FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match in Tehran.
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His 48th-minute goal at Azadi Stadium gave the South Korea Football World Cup team a 1-0 lead over preferred Iran in their Group A match in the final Asian qualification round for the FIFA World Cup. Last week, Son had scored the go-ahead goal in the 89th minute for a 2-1 victory over Syria at home.
And for about half an hour at Azadi, a place where the South Korea Football World Cup team had never won before, it seemed as though Son’s goal would stand as the winner for the Taeguk Warriors. South Korea even wedged a lucky break when Saeid Ezatolahi’s right-footed shot rang off the left goalpost in the 67th minute.
Eventually, it wasn’t meant to be, as Alireza Jahanbakhsh controlled in the equalizer in the 76th minute. Iran hit the goal post again two minutes later, and South Korean auxiliary Na Sang-ho missed out on a magnificent opportunity in the dying seconds before the team was stable for a 1-1 draw.
Despite doing his part and some more, Son apologized to fans in South Korea for not delivering a win. However, Son also said the match was a good wisdom experience for the South Korea Football World Cup team. To know more about Qatar World Cup Tickets click here.
I think we learned a lot about ourselves playing with a lead, Son said. We got into some hazardous situations and we were vexed hard to overcome those challenges. Iran isn’t a pushover, especially at home, and I am proud of my teammates for battling until the end.
South Korea Football World Cup team now have three draws and five losses at Azadi Stadium. The Red Devils have been outscored 11-4 in those eight matches, and Son became just the third South Korean to have scored in Tehran. Lee Young-moo had both South Korean goals in a 2-2 draw against Iran in a Football World Cup qualifier in November 1977.
“We’re going to try to return our fans’ love and support with a victory.”Son Heung-min
It took more than three eras before another South Korean found the back of the net at Azadi, with Park Ji-sung netting the equalizer in a 1-1 draw in February 2009, also a FIFA World Cup qualifying match. More than a dozen years later, Son put himself in that company with his 29th goal in his 94th international arrival.
Son’s goal came on South Korea’s first shot on the mark. The team endeavored eight shots in the first half, with none hitting the net. Though the South Korea Football World Cup team failed to guard the lead, this has been a particularly flattering tour of international duty for Son on a more personal level.
In September, Son was shut down by Iraq in a scoreless draw to open the final qualification round. Son then agonized a right calf strain that suspended him for the next match against Lebanon. The injury also cost Son some time with the Spurs when he returned to London.
Son ultimately trembled off the effects of his injury and was named to the Premier League Football Team of the Week just before joining the national team. The impetus for Son carried over from his Premier League Football action to international play, as he scored in back-to-back matches for the first time since the Football World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Son had recently faced some scorn for acceding too much to his teammates in international play, and for not fully showcasing the kind of skills that saw him arise as one of the Premier League’s top scorers.
The arrival match against Iran will be in South Korea on March 24 next year. Son said the hard-fought draw will serve as a good boost to the team’s joint poise moving forward. Just as playing in Iran is difficult for us, I think they will find playing in Korea challenging.
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