A devastated Son Heung-min has apologised to South Korea fans after his side suffered a shock elimination from the Asian Cup at the hands of Jordan.
After overcoming Australia in the quarter-final, and with Japan knocked out in the last eight, South Korea were the clear favourite to win the tournament for the first time since 1960.
But they were on the end of a humbling 2-0 loss, with Yazan Al-Naimat and Musa Al-Taamari capitalising on mistakes to bag the goals for Jordan as South Korea failed to muster a single effort on target despite having 70 per cent possession in the contest.
Captain Son, who will now return to Tottenham slightly earlier than expected, looked crestfallen during his post-match media duties and apologised for the nature of his side’s exit.
‘I don’t know what to say really. I am so sorry,’ he told the host broadcaster afterwards.
‘The players did their best. I’m very sorry that the game is ended like this by mistakes.
‘The fans showed us great support, I’m sorry we could not deliver as our fans expected. I’ll try harder so that the national team can grow further in the future. Again, I’m very sorry.’
Despite boasting a plethora of world-class players, South Korea performed well below expectations at the tournament with Tuesday’s defeat following on from a nervy extra-time win over Australia, a shootout against Saudi Arabia and two draws against Malaysia and Jordan in the group stage.
Pressure is heating up on head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who was forced to defend himself after he was seen smiling as he congratulated Jordan’s players and staff after the full-time whistle was blown at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
‘For me it’s normal to congratulate the other team and the coach when they were better, it’s a sign of respect,’ explained the German.
‘If you say I should not smile then we have different approaches.
‘I am very disappointed, I’m angry because we should have done much better tonight. I’m certainly not going to be walking around tonight smiling. But there are reasons we lost this game and we should accept that.’
On suggestions he should resign following the loss, he replied: ‘I’m not planning to do anything.
‘I will analyse this tournament, go back to South Korea with the team and talk with the federation about what was good and what was not so good in the tournament.’
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