In less than 3 hours, the Tavern is going LIVE at 6pm EST today / 7 am in Korea. Join the Tavern writers as we talk about Korean football, including:
- Next month’s Asian Games
- The upcoming season in Europe
- K League and AFC Champions League
- The coaching search for the next national team manager
One of the things we will discuss is the recent spate of Koreans scoring in Europe – including Son Heung-Min –who bagged his first Champions League goal last night in Copenhagen. It turned out to be the game winner for Bayer Leverkusen…
Update: obviously if you tuned in, you will no doubt hear some crazy talk by the Tavern Owner – something on the lines of, “hey, Malky Mackaye is available- he’s not taking the Crystal Palace job, he hired Kimbo -why not Malky for KNT coach?” Sometime (I think) during the live Tavern Hangout event, the Daily Mail in the UK published a shocking expose of purported text messages between Iain Moody & Malky Mackaye that had quite a bit of bigotry in the exchanges -including racist comments directed at Kim Bo-Kyung. There’s more to the story -which we’ll get to in a later post, but back to the post Hangout – Jae informed me by twitter of the shocking revelations. In light of that, I’ll quote old Grandpa Simpson from the long running animation show, who after everyone laughs at his senility, laughs along, then sadly says: “…I’m a living joke.” Yes dear Tavern goers, that would be me. Man, if there is a deity, he, she or it has played a good one on me. Oh well, moving on to better news: here’s something on Son Heung-Min…
The game was very entertaining, with a bit of drama as Copenhagen surged ahead 2-1 despite an early 5th minute Kiessling goal. Leaky defense during set pieces was the culprit. In the 30th minute, a cross intended for Son instead bounced off a Copenhagen defender’s back, taking a lucky bounce to Bellarabi who nailed it for the equalizer. Enter Son: Hakan Calhanoglu threaded the perfect pass to Son, who charged down the right corner of the area before using his body off balance to shoot past the outstretched arms of the keeper -with the ball taking a bounce into the far corner post -and on into the net. 8 European games later since joining Leverkusen and Son netted his first Champions League goal.
Leverkusen pushed further and should have honestly gotten more. Son and Leverkusen comfortably took court in Copenhagen’s half of the pitch for the rest of the match – sparkling / dazzling / giving & going with Jedvaj (18 year old on loan from Roma) and Calhanoglu in the mix, but though they came wicked close several times – they didn’t find the back of the net again. Son had 2 more sizzling shots – which took the keeper to the limits in keeping the ball out. He was gifted a 4th chance late in the game, but couldn’t get enough on it -to which the keeper snuffed it out.
In a post match interview, Son told Bundesliga.com, “It’s certainly special for me to score my first goal in the Champions League, even more so as this goal is an important one for the team. But I’m just as happy scoring in the Bundesliga, I love scoring goals in the league. Hitting the back of the net always makes you feel good.” There you go: it’s goal scoring as therapy. Super.
Of course, despite the win, Bayer’s squad will be feeling it as they face BVB in just a few days for the Bundesliga opener…
> Briefly to Korea as the Asian Champions League resumed, Pohang and Seoul drew scoreless Wednesday in their 1st leg of the elimination round. We’ll be talking about that and much more at the Tavern Hangout Live, 6pm EST / 7am Korea time. See you then!