Well, that didn’t go according to plan. Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-Min and his South Korean U23 side were eliminated from the Rio Olympics in the quarterfinal round, dropping a 1-0 decision to Honduras in Mineirão, Belo Horizante.
Despite the Koreans generally outplaying Honduras over the course of the match, they were stymied by a stout Honduran defense and a man of the match performance by Honduran keeper Luis Lopez, who made a number of incredible stops.
A giveaway in the Honduran box by Son led to a Honduran breakaway, Korea lost its shape, and Alberth Ellis slotted home the goal that was the difference between the sides. But the star of the match was Lopez, who practically stood on his head to make several key saves in the second half. Most notable was a reaction stop on a driving half volley by Son, who looked likely to score.
The end of the match was marred by some cynical Honduran time-wasting and fake injuries, and the Korean team was incensed at the full time whistle after feeling as though the match official had not given them an appropriate amount of extra time. Son, in particular, was in the face of the match official.
In the end it didn’t matter: Honduras advances to the semifinals of the Olympics, their best ever finish in the competition. Korea heads home without a medal. It’s not yet known when Sonny will rejoin his Tottenham teammates, or when we might expect to see him feature for Spurs.