May 19, 2017
Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min (R), celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League match against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, Britain, on May 18, 2017. (AP)
Tottenham Hotspur attacker Son Heung-min
has broken the single-season goal record for a South Korean in European football after grabbing a brace against Leicester City.
Son scored twice in Tottenham's 6-1 over Leicester City in their English Premier League (EPL) match at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, Britain, on Thursday (local time). Son now has 21 goals in all competitions this season, surpassing the previous record for a South Korean player in Europe held by Cha Bum-kun. Cha scored 19 goals during the 1985-86 season for the German side Bayer Leverkusen.
Son, 24, has bagged 14 goals in the EPL, in addition to six goals in the English Football Association (FA) Cup and one goal in the UEFA Champions League.
"Now I can say I'm really proud," Son said to Spurs TV on the club's website. "But without my teammates, my coaching staff and Tottenham, this would have never happened. I really want to thank everyone and it's a really really happy night."
Son is now also the highest-scoring South Korean in England, moving past former Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers midfielder Park Ji-sung. Son, who joined Tottenham from Leverkusen in 2015, has amassed 29 goals in 86 matches over two seasons, while Park, who hung up his boots in 2014, had 27 goals in 230 matches over eight seasons in the EPL.
Against EPL defending champions Leicester, Son started as a winger. He first delivered an assist to striker Harry Kane in the 25th minute for Tottenham's 1-0 lead. It was Son's fifth assist in the EPL this season and his first since the match against Watford on April 8.
Son broke the tie with Cha in the 36th after his right-footed shot off Dele Alli's pass in the box found the net for the London club's 2-0 lead. It also ended his goalless streak that started April 15.
Son netted his second goal of the night in the 71st when his right-footed strike from distance beat Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The South Korean was replaced by Vincent Jassen in the 78th minute.
Son, currently the only man to win the EPL Player of the Month award twice in the 2016-17 season, has one more chance to extend his goal scoring record on Sunday when Tottenham visit KCOM Stadium to face Hull City for their final EPL match of the season. He will try to become the first Asian to finish the season inside the top 10 in scoring. Son is currently ranked 12th, one goal outside of the top 10.
Tottenham have confirmed a second-place finish in the EPL behind Chelsea following their 2-1 win over Manchester United last Sunday.
Son will return to his homeland next Tuesday with his teammates Kyle Walker, Kevin Wimmer and Ben Davies for promotional events organized by Tottenham's main sponsor AIA.