Korea Beats China in Asian Cup Group Decider

  • By Lee Tae-dong

    January 17, 2019 10:43

    Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur led Korea to a 2-0 victory over China at the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in the UAE on Wednesday. The win allowed Korea to advance to the round of 16 at the top of its group, with three wins from three games.

    Just a day after arriving from the U.K., Son shrugged off any fatigue and showed his brilliance, performing a cut above any other player on the pitch.

    Kim Min-jae (left) hugs his teammate Son Heung-min after scoring a goal against China at the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in the UAE on Wednesday. /Yonhap

    Korea's head coach Paulo Bento surprised everybody by starting Son, though he did not make any other drastic changes to the lineup. Son was not expected to play in the match since he joined the squad in the UAE on Monday after starting for his English Premier League team on Sunday.

    He created a scoring chance in just the 14th minute, earning a penalty. As Son penetrated the midfield to receive Kim Moon-hwan's cross, Chinese defender Zheng Zhi made a reckless tackle and brought him down in the box. Hwang Ui-jo stepped in and converted the penalty kick, Korea's first successful penalty shots from four attempts since Bento took over as head coach.

    Kim Min-jae's header off Son's corner in the 51st minute doubled the lead to 2-0. Son finally came off the pitch in the 89th minute.

    Finishing on top of its group, Korea will have an easier draw in the next round. The players have a five-day rest until their next match in Dubai next Tuesday. 

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