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After 2 consecutive misses, Son Heung-min to stop taking penalties

All Headlines 00:03 October 13, 2018

By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea may have upset world No. 5 Uruguay 2-1 in a men's football friendly match Friday night, but team captain Son Heung-min wasn't all smiles afterward.

The Tottenham Hotspur attacker missed his second straight penalty in this match, though both of those directly led to South Korean goals.

Last month, Son hit a goal post with his spot kick against Costa Rica, but midfielder Lee Jae-sung banged home the rebound in a 2-0 win.

Son Heung-min of South Korea takes a breather during a men's football friendly against Uruguay at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Oct. 12, 2018. (Yonhap)

On Friday at Seoul World Cup Stadium, before a sellout crowd of 64,170, Son's penalty kick in the second half was saved by Fernando Muslera. Hwang Ui-jo pounced on that rebound, barely ahead of defender Martin Caceres, to put South Korea on the board.

This was South Korea's first victory against Uruguay in eight meetings, but Son said he was frustrated with his own efforts.

"We played a great game as a team to win, but personally, I still have a lot of room for improvement," Son said. "It hurt my pride to miss the penalty."

Hwang drew the penalty in the 65th, but Son, as the team's designated kicker, stepped up to take the penalty. But the diving Muslera made a relatively easy save, and Son admitted he sent the ball to a predictable area.

"I don't think I'll be taking any more penalties," Son added.

South Korea will next host Panama in Cheonan, 90 kilometers south of Seoul, on Tuesday. It will be Son's final international appearance this year before home crowds.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) worked out a deal with the Spurs to have Son available for the Asian Games in Indonesia earlier in the summer in exchange for leaving him off the national team for friendlies in November.

Son helped South Korea win gold medal at the Asian Games. He will rejoin the national team for the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in January in the United Arab Emirates.

Son Heung-min of South Korea (R) tries to dribble past Matias Vecino of Uruguay during their teams' football friendly at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Oct. 12, 2018. (Yonhap)

"It's been an eventful year personally," Son said. "The Panama match will be my last for the year, and I'd like to finish the season on a high note."

Son said he enjoys working with Paulo Bento, the team's new coach, who has three matches under his belt.

"He gives specific instructions to players on how they should move in build-up situations," Son said. "During practices, he'll stop everything once he detects problems and he'll try to correct that on the spot. And the players have been trying to soak up as much as we can. He's been a great help."

kdon@yna.co.kr
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