After a heartbreaking loss that cast a cloud over South Korea’s knockout chances on Monday, captain Son Heung-min was apologetic to the team’s supporters.
‘I don’t really know what to say. We all did our best and I am sorry that we could only get a result like this,’ Son said after losing to Ghana 3-2 in Group H action at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, west of Doha. ‘I am really sorry to all of our fans who cheered for us.’
Son, who has been playing with a protective mask over his surgically repaired face, put the loss on his shoulders, Yonhap news agency reported.
‘I should have played better individually and also should have done a better job leading the team. It hurts me so much that I wasn’t able to come through,’ said Son, who even attempted a header. ‘I really can’t ask for more from my teammates. If they keep doing what they’ve been doing, I’d be a really grateful captain.’
With one point after two matches, South Korea must beat Portugal in their final group match Friday to have a shot at progressing to the round of 16.
But the team will be without head coach Paulo Bento, who has been suspended for Friday after receiving a red card following Monday’s loss. Bento had an argument with referee Anthony Taylor after the official blew the final whistle only moments after South Korea had earned a corner.
‘This is not a good situation for the team,’ Son said. ‘But we’ll try to execute what the coach wants us to execute, and prepare the best we can over the next few days.’