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Spurs International: Updates on Sarr, Son, and Bissouma in Asia Cup and AFCON

Yves Bissouma and Mali are in real trouble.

Senegal v Cameroon - Friendly Match Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

We’re through two rounds in the group stages of both the Africa Cup of Nations and Asian Cup, so it’s time to take stock of where Tottenham Hotspur’s players are in the competitions. If you’re only now tuning in, Spurs have three players off with their national teams for two major international competitions: Son Heung-Min is captaining Korea Republic as they hope to win their first Asian Cup since the 1960s, while Pape Sarr (Senegal) and Yves Bissouma (Mali) are at AFCON.

First, let’s check in on Sarr. Senegal made it two wins from two in AFCON Group C on Friday with a 3-1 win over Cameroon. While Sarr was a substitute in their first match win over Gambia, he started against Cameroon and picked up his first assist of the competition. In the 16th minute, Sarr got upended while completing a header at the edge of the box, but managed to find Ismalia Sarr who slotted a deflected shot past the keeper to put Senegal ahead. Senegal got additional goals from Habibou Diallo and Sadio Mane to secure the win; Pape Sarr was subbed off in the 74th minute after a solid performance in central midfield.

Senegal have now already qualified for the next round and face second place Guinea tomorrow. A draw or a win would clinch the group for Senegal; Guinea can progress out of the group with a draw or better.

Son Heung-Min had a bit harder a time of it in what turned out to be a WILD 2-2 draw against Jordan. Sonny both earned and converted a penalty in the ninth minute to put Korea ahead, but faced stiff competition against a high pressing Jordanian squad who roared back to score two goals and lead at halftime. Korea were bailed out in extra time of the 2nd half after 90+1’ own goal by Yazan al-Arab leveled the score and earned them a point.

Korea are tied with Jordan at the top of their group but are still heavily favored to advance out of the group as their final match is against a winless Malaysia who have yet to score a goal in the competition. That match takes place this Thursday. However, thanks to Japan losing to Iraq last week, there’s a decent chance of a Japan-Korea matchup in the Round of 16.

After a decisive win over South Africa, Mali stumbled slightly against Tunisia, earning a 1-1 draw in what has turned out to be one of the more competitive groups in the competition. However, Spurs midfielder Yves Bissouma was not in the Malian side for this one; he has supposedly recovered from malaria, but it’s tough to get reliable information about how he’s doing or why he wasn’t in the side.

Mali are top of the group with four points, but need a win over Namibia on Wednesday to ensure qualification. A loss could see them crash out of the group stage if South Africa draw or beat Tunisia.