East Asia Korea

South Korea boosted by Son Heung-min return ahead of crucial World Cup qualifiers

South Korea’s hope to qualify for the 2018 World Cup has received a huge boost after attacker Son Heung-min made a surprise appearance for English Premier League Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Son broke his arm during an international match back in June. Initially, he was expected to be out of action for at least three months, potentially ruling him out of South Korea’s crucial qualifiers against Iran (on August 31) and Uzbekistan (September 5).

However, the former Bayer Leverkusen forward coming off the bench in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United, which means he could make an appearance in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

“He looked a lot better than I’d expected, though he still seemed a bit careful in physical battles,” South Korea national team head coach Shin Tae-yong said, as quoted by Yonhap News.

“I wasn’t sure if he would even be on the bench for the match. If he gets a couple more matches under his belt, then I am sure he’ll be even better,” Shin added.

South Korea are second in group A, seven points behind already-qualified Iran, but just one point ahead of Uzbekistan, who will play against China on August 31.