The Korea Herald

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Tottenham's Son Heung-min embarrassed about leading FA Cup in scoring

By a2016032

Published : May 29, 2017 - 14:39

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Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean attacker Son Heung-min said Monday he feels "embarrassed" about leading the scoring at the English Football Association Cup since his goals came against inferior opponents.

The FA Cup ended with Arsenal's victory over Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday. Although Tottenham were eliminated in the semifinals by Chelsea, Son scored six goals at the competition, tying Adam Morgan of Curzon Ashton. There isn't an official award given to the FA Cup's best scorer, but Son became the first Asian to top the scoring in the FA Cup.

South Korean forward Son Heung-min kicks the ball during the national football team's training at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul, on May 29, 2017. (Yonhap) South Korean forward Son Heung-min kicks the ball during the national football team's training at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul, on May 29, 2017. (Yonhap)

Son, however, wasn't so excited about his achievement. The 24-year-old is now in his homeland to train with the national team for their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Qatar next month.

"I feel embarrassed about (the FA Cup scoring mark)," Son told reporters at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul.

"I scored against weak teams and poured in goals in just a few matches."

In the FA Cup, Son scored a goal against second-tier club Aston Villa and grabbed a brace against fourth-division side Wycombe in January. He then notched a hat trick against Millwall, another second-division club, in Tottenham's 6-0 win in March.

"It isn't really a big thing," he said. "Next season, I want to score more goals in the Premier League."

 Son enjoyed his most successful English Premier League season since he signed with the London club in 2015. In the EPL, he bagged 14 goals, 13th best in the league, in addition to six assists.

Overall, he netted 21 goals in all competitions during the 2016-2017 season, breaking the single-season scoring record for a South Korean in Europe, previously held by Cha Bum-kun, who had 19 goals for the German outfit Leverkusen in the 1985-1986 season.

Son was also named the Premier League's Player of the Month twice, and the Spurs finished second in the 20-team league while leading the competition with 86 goals.

Though his club season ended, Son will now have to focus on the national team that will face Qatar in a key World Cup qualifying match on June 13 in Doha.

"I feel comfortable that my club's season campaign is over, but I want to stay focused," he said. "I need to stay sharp and maintain my fitness because we know how important this qualifier is."

With only three matches remaining, South Korea are currently in second place in Group A of the final Asian qualifying round with 13 points, four behind Iran and one ahead of Uzbekistan. Only the top two teams will earn automatic berths to the World Cup.

Although Qatar sit in last place in the six-team group, Son said the national team players should not let their guards down. In this final Asian qualifying campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, South Korea have yet to collect a win away from home.

"We need to keep up our good fitness because I heard that it's really hot there," Son said. "But I believe we'll collect a good result." (Yonhap)