February 9, 2013
Son Heung-Min wasn’t just man of the match today for Hamburg in their 4-1 deconstruction of Borussia Dortmund, he duplicated something special: he scored the game winner and another brace, his second of the year. The last brace/game winner for Son you ask? In September against Borussia Dortmund (in a Peter Griffin-esque confident-of-actually-having-an-accurate-fact voice). That makes it 9 goals for Son this season for Hamburg, catapulting him back into the Bundesliga’s top 10 goal scorers. But those statistics alone don’t tell the whole story: while fast, it’s been noted that he can lose the ball under pressure at times. Not so today, he held onto the ball with a tenacious grip with his boots. Of the 2 forwards for Hamburg, he was the more creative and gave all sorts of trouble to Dortmund’s backline.
13th minute, he sent a bicycle kick -right toward the keeper (looked good nevertheless). In the 20th minute he had an excellent opportunity, driving to his left to go one on one with the keeper Weidenfeller. He decided to try his luck going around Weidenfeller to his right, and just about got payoff from it, but his shot nicked the post, bounced in front of a charging Rudnevs -and just got past him.
The most interesting thing about Son’s first goal today is that it’s nearly identical to the one he scored against Borussia Dortmund for that game winner back on September 22 (see the Tavern’s masthead); a drive up the right, cut in towards the middle to outwit a defenseman, then left footed powered shot from the edge of the penalty area to blast it, this time off the far post and into the goal, a dispirited Weidenfeller looking on in disbelief. Here it is: (update: on Sunday, the first you tube video content was taken down by the host, this second link will work, but fast forward to 5:40 for Son’s first goal. Bicycle kick attempt at 1:43, and Son’s 20th minute shot starts at 5:05)
That goal put Hamburg up 2-1 (Rudnevs with Hamburg’s first in the 18th minute). Son wasn’t done, he had several opportunities to put the game away in the 2nd half. Then in what looked like disaster for Hamburg; a 59th minute red card handed to Jeffrey Bruma for impeding Reus’ drive towards goal right outside the top of the penalty area. Dortmund was licking their lips at the opportunity, but Hamburg shrugged it off and scored two more in succession; Van der Vaart brilliant cross to Rudnevs’ head got it past the keeper to go up 3-1 in the 61st (brace for Rudnevs), followed by Son’s sliding home an insurance goal from a well played cross by Jansen (who fought off several defenders to keep it in play). Here it is:
3 shots, 2 goals, 1 offsides (that shouldn’t have been an offsides). A 100% passing rate? We’re not exactly sure about that last one, but Bundesliga.com made that claim on their site. An excellent result for Hamburg against a team who is 2nd in the Bundesliga table. While games today and tomorrow can still affect the table, at this juncture, Hamburg is in 5th place, an automatic qualifying spot for the Europa League next season. That’s not all, they are 6 points away from 4th place Eintracht Frankfurt, that last spot a possible Champions League qualifying position. Lastly, Rafael Van der Vaart was hit in the head with a small object from a Borussia Dortmund’s fan. Fortunately it was only a light injury, but still, to that Borussia Dortmund fan, come on, really? This is how you react when your team loses?
In other games today:
Lee Chung-Yong delivered a just-in-the-nick-of-time assist to Davies to even the score in the 66th for Bolton. Here’s a tweet to mark the moment:
Great work from Chung-Yong down the left! He cross with Craig Davies stooping to head in-off the bar! (66) 1-1
— Official BWFC (@OfficialBWFC) February 9, 2013
Bolton would eventually find the game winner from Ngog off a set piece to win 2-1 against Burnsley. Note: Lee got a nasty tackle late in the game by Burnsley’s Kieran Trippier. Kieran got a yellow card while Lee was slow to get up. Ouch. Bolton moves up to 17th position in the English Championship, still far away from promotion but got some breathing room away from the relegation drop.
Kim Bo-Kyung played the first 45 minutes for Cardiff before getting subbed off. Cardiff ends the game in a scoreless affair with Huddersfield. Cardiff still on top of the English Championship, maintaining a 10 point lead despite the draw.
Park Jung-Bin played 23 minutes in the 2nd half in Greuther Furth’s 1-0 loss to Wolfsburg. He’s currently on loan from Wolfsburg.
Not quite the 5-0 drubbing from the first game of the season, but Swansea still had QPR’s number in a 4-1 victory at Liberty Stadium. Ki Sung-Yeung played 90 minutes. No goals for him, but he did get into a scuffle with QPR’s Taarabt. Here’s ESPN FC’s take: “Adel Taarabt summed up QPR’s annoyance when he picked up a needless booking for kicking the ball away when conceding a free-kick, the Moroccan then started a spat with Jonathan de Guzman and Ki Sung-yueng.” Michu was the man today, a hatrick brace for the Spaniard. Not sure what Harry Rednapp’s strategy was for QPR as he didn’t even bring on Park Ji-Sung. His loss. Yun Suk-Young wasn’t in the 18 man roster for QPR, having joined them in a late January transfer while being out of season in the K-League. Injuries to note: even before the match, we knew Remy Loic was out for 2 months for QPR. Swansea’s Chico Flores sustained an ankle injury in the 33rd minute today and had to be taken out – he’ll be given an exam to see if he’s ok for the League Cup final in Wembley in 2 weeks time.
Sadly, Celta Vigo is in further relegation trouble as they faced Valencia at the Balaidos. Park Chu-Young didn’t get the start, and only entered the game in the 85th minute for Iago Aspas. Not enough time to make impact, his one touch was a badly played cross. The heartbreaking thing was the fact that it was a scoreless draw, but with 10 seconds left, unmarked substitute Nelson Valdez headed in the winner for Valencia. Celta loses 0-1 and are still in the relegation zone in 18th place; to get out of the relegation zone, they need to make up 3 points to overtake Osasuna for the 17th position -assuming Osasuna losses their next match.
SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY – keep an eye out for the Korean duo of Ji Dong-Won and Koo Ja-Cheol, as Augsburg goes head to head with Mainz. Augsburg is unbeaten since the restart of the season. If they beat Mainz, they not only help Augsburg ease out of relegation, they will also help Son and Hamburg maintain 5th in the Bundesliga table. Game on. 9:30 am EST
Suk Hyun-Jun may get his 2nd start for his new Portugese club, Maratimo. They face Sporting Lisbon at 11am.