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FIFA World Cup 2018: Son Heung-min takes blames as South Korea lose to Sweden

Son Heung-min started on the right side of a three-man attack, but was largely anonymous as his South Korea did not manage a single effort on target against Sweden

football Updated: Jun 19, 2018 00:50 IST
Reuters, Nizhny Novgorod
FIFA World Cup 2018,Son Heung-min,South Korea football team
South Korea's Son Heung-min (No. 19) look dejected after South Korea lose to Sweden in a FIFA World Cup 2018 match.(REUTERS)

Striker Son Heung-min blamed himself for South Korea’s 1-0 defeat by Sweden in their World Cup opener on Monday, saying he did not do enough to help lift his team mates in their Group F game.

Son is regarded as the only world-class player in the Korean side and he felt a burden of responsibility given his profile from the Premier League.

READ | FIFA World Cup: Granqvist’s VAR-assisted penalty gives Sweden 1-0 win

“I’m really disappointed with my own performance. I feel I should be the one who makes things happen for my team mates but I didn’t play well,” Son told reporters.

“It didn’t go to plan and I just didn’t play well,” the Tottenham Hotspur forward added.

Son started on the right side of a three-man attack, but was largely anonymous as his team did not manage a single effort on target

“We forwards have to responsibility for this. When we won the ball, we still had too much distance left to go forward,” he said, looking crushed and sighing often as he answered questions in both Korean and English.

Overall, it was a disappointing performance that left the Koreans, with games to come against Mexico and Germany, on the back foot.

READ | FIFA World Cup 2018: Romelu Lukaku shows intent in Belgium’s opening game

“It’s pity that we didn’t get a good result. We knew it was important to not surrender a goal first,” Son added.

“If we conceded one, we’d have to score two, so we played very cautiously.

“We had all worked hard to prepare for this match. We have to accept this result and reorganise ourselves for Mexico.

“But they played really well to beat Germany. They were quick. But (upsets) like that sometime happen in football. If we can be mentally strong we could do the same but the World Cup is no easy stage,” Son added.

South Korea play Mexico in Rostov-on-Don on Saturday before meeting world champions Germany.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 00:50 IST