Son Heung-min, the star man of the South Korean national team, expressed deep remorse and devastation following South Korea’s unexpected 2-0 semi-final defeat to Jordan in the Asian Cup on Tuesday.
The loss shattered South Korea’s hopes of clinching the tournament title for the first time since 1960.
Despite being favored to win, South Korea struggled to produce any significant threat against Jordan, failing to register a single shot on target throughout the match. Son attributed the defeat to nervousness among the players and a reluctance to make mistakes.
In a post-match interview with beIN Sports, Son described the outcome as “very disappointing” and acknowledged Jordan’s remarkable journey in the tournament, conceding that they deserved the victory.
South Korea had narrowly escaped elimination in previous knockout rounds with late equalizers, but they were unable to mount a comeback against Jordan, who seized control of the match with goals from Yazan Al-Naimat and Mousa Al-Tamari in the second half.
With this defeat, Jordan advanced to the final for the first time in their history, setting up a title showdown against either Iran or Qatar.
Son emphasized the need for South Korea to learn from their mistakes and move forward without dwelling on regrets.
Despite his personal contribution of three goals in the tournament, including a crucial free-kick in the quarter-final victory over Australia, Son expressed his apologies to Korean fans for failing to meet their expectations. He vowed to continue improving as a player and expressed determination to help the national team progress further in future competitions.
Very disappointing, devastated about this result,” the 31-year-old skipper told beIN Sports.
“Jordan are having an amazing journey at this tournament. They deserve it, they fought to the end.
“For us it was a very disappointing night.
As Son prepares to return to his club, Tottenham Hotspur, he stressed the importance of regrouping and focusing on the remainder of the season.
“We have to look forward, there is no time for regret,” he said.
“Now I have to go back to my club and be ready for the rest of the season.”
The forward’s heartfelt apology reflects the disappointment felt by the entire South Korean team and their supporters, as they come to terms with their unexpected exit from the Asian Cup.
Amidst the disappointment, Son’s resolve to bounce back stronger serves as a beacon of hope for South Korean football, as they strive to overcome this setback and set their sights on future success.