Football: Son says South Korea need to be 'better' at Asian Cup

South Korea's Son Heung-Min and team mates after the match.
South Korea's Son Heung-Min and team mates after the match.PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Son Heung-min played an influential role in keeping South Korea at the Asian Cup on Tuesday (Jan 22) but warned his team mates they needed to step up their game if they want to end their 59-year wait for the title.

The Tottenham Hotspur forward, playing his second match at the tournament, helped South Korea to a laboured 2-1 extra time victory over Bahrain, which earned them a quarter-final match-up against Qatar.

"I think we're better than that," he told reporters.

"We got the result, the performance was not great but sometimes you take the result. We are looking forward to playing the quarter-final, which will be another tough match."

Son came in for some close attention in what was sometimes a rough match but scoffed at the suggestion that he might be being targeted as the most high-profile player at the continental championship.

"Sometimes it's difficult when you play such a team who play 10 players in defence, you don't find the space and everyone can be a target," he added.

"We should learn from this and play better."


Son only joined his team mates in the United Arab Emirates for their final group match against China as part of a deal with Spurs that allowed him to play for his country at last year's Asian Games.

The 26-year-old said that his experience in the English Premier League would help him cope with playing another match on Friday against the youthful Qatari team at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City.

"It about mentality I think," he said.

"Yes, I'm tired, after the game I'm tired, of course, but I'll try to recover as quickly as possible and play again in three days.

"It's the same when I play for Tottenham."