Taeguk Warrior Tavern Hangout Today / Son Heung-Min Scores 1st Champions League goal

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.comIt’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! 

About Roy Ghim 454 Articles
The old Tavern Owner


  1. Few I wish to point out after watching the video.

    1. Hoffenheim is incredibly talented & exciting team. They have some major talents in Kevin Volland (expect him to join Dortmund as Reus replacement), Firmino, and 18 year old CB in Sule (yes, Germany is developing some talented CBs lately). Kim Jin-Su joined an ambitious team of whom I expect them to contend for European spot (including Champions League) this season.

    2. Mainz and Augsburg will struggle this season.

    As for Koo Ja-Cheol, his form did pick up as stated by Roy but he is playing as LW in 4-2-3-1 system. Is that the right position for him and does it help KNT? I’m intrigued by where he will ultimately settle under new manager in Mainz. Park Joo-Ho on the other hand was rated the 7th best fullback by Kicker last season and while many of you believe PJH played as DM for few matches, he never did (Johannes Geis is the main DM) until recently in double-six role in Pokal Cup match. Park Joo-Ho played 3 positions last season. Left back(his primary position), LW, and LCM/LM in 3 midfield set-up in 4-4-2 diamond/4-3-1-2 system. He was praised for his defensive work (but not for crunching tackles), tireless energy, and being tidy in possession (really good in shielding/keeping possession) for most of last season (not much for his offensive contributions as Roy believe).

    3. Kim Min-Hyeok of Sagan Tosu is talented CB I’m keeping track of in J-league (he was with Son at HSV youth at one point). He’s a starter and an influential player unlike many of the Korean players in J-league (Kim Min-Woo is the other). I’m hoping he develops well, win the gold at Asian Games and perhaps make a return to Bundesliga.

    • Right on…and to clarify, I meant to say park Joo-ho has shown from time to time that he can contribute offensively. And you’re right, he isn’t given credit for his defensive capabilities, esp last season. Now, on a different topic, like I was saying in the precious post, I totally retract recommending Malky Mackaye. Lol, I look like a prize a-hole for my recommendation, but to my defense I didn’t read about his alleged racist texts until after the hangout. Ay gu nah…post on Malky/moody-gate coming soon…

        • naw – that doesn’t make me feel any better, but thanks for trying! I still feel like a prize a-hole. The timing of that article coming out – couldn’t have been more perfect…

          • It seriously did come out during the hangout or right before. I had twitter open and I thought about mentioning it, but I wasn’t so sure since this was the Daily Mail and I didn’t exactly have the time to read it during the hangout lol

            It’s so coincidental in a bad way that it’s funny in a way

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