Son Heung-min concedes South Korea must take lessons from Brazil thrashing before 2022 World Cup

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

South Korea captain Son Heung-min is hoping the 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Brazil in a friendly on Wednesday will prove a learning experience for his World Cup-bound team.

The prolific Tottenham Hotspur forward failed to find the net as five-times World Cup winners Brazil cruised to victory before more than 64,000 fans at Seoul’s World Cup stadium.

“It was an honour to be able to learn from such a world class team,” Son told Yonhap News Agency. “It was an extremely difficult match for us, but it was also an opportunity to learn a great deal.

“They are the kind of players that can exploit even small mistakes, and we have to improve in that aspect,” he added. “Most of the five goals they scored were the results of our miscues. On the other hand, I think it was encouraging for us to create scoring chances against such a powerful team.”

South Korea also play Chile, Paraguay and Egypt this month as they prepare for their 10th successive appearance at the World Cup finals in Qatar later this year.

“It probably wasn’t the result our fans wanted, and we’re disappointed as well,” Son said. “We understand we have a long way to go. But we will do our best until the World Cup and give our fans something to smile about.”

Neymar scored twice for Brazil, with Richarlison, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus on the scoresheet. Hwang Ui-Jo had equalised for South Korea after the Everton forward’s opener, before two penalties from the PSG star either side of the break put the Selecao clear.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s president has given the go-ahead for a push to host the 2023 Asian Cup finals, the presidential office said, weeks after China decided to relinquish its hosting rights to the tournament.

President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered his sports minister to try to secure the event following a dinner meeting on Thursday with football players and officials before the country’s friendly match against Brazil.

The decision followed a proposal from Chung Mong-gyu, president of the Korea Football Association, and Lee Young-pyo, a member of South Korea’s men’s team at the 2002 FIFA World Cup where the country reached the semi-finals.

China, in mid-May, pulled out of hosting the 2023 Asian Cup finals due to the COVID-19 situation in the country.

On Tuesday, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) invited bids to stage the 2023 Asian Cup and set a June 30 deadline to submit an Expression of Interest (EoI).

The Japan Football Association said last month it has been informally approached about the possibility of replacing China as hosts.

South Korea has not hosted an Asian Cup finals since it hosted in 1960 for the first time. South Korea won the finals then.