Korean phenom Son Heung-Min celebrated his first Bundesliga appearance by netting a debut goal for Hamburg SV in its 2-3 loss to FC Cologne on Saturday.
Son, who played his first competitive match as a second half substitute just three days ago in the second round of DFB Pokal against Eintracht Frankfut, was unexpectedly thrown into the starting line-up as Armin Veh‘s left winger and played full-time.
The 18 year-old’s landmark goal came in the 24th minute when the score was knotted up at 1-1 after Milivoje Novakovic and Mladen Petric exchanged goals within the first 15 minutes of the match.
Son broke out of Cologne’s offside trap with a well-timed off-the-ball run down the right hand side as he was released by Gojko Kacar‘s fantastic pass for a clear one on one chance against the opposing goalkeeper. After getting to the end of Kacar’s pass right in front the box, Son bravely lofted the ball over Miro Varvodic with his right foot on his first touch and tapped in the finish using his left to give Hamburg the lead.
However, what could have been a heroic performance by the Korean was overshadowed by Cologne’s Slovenian hitman Novakovic who completed a hattrick for the night and helped his side come from behind at home to win 3-2.
Hamburg manager Veh and sporting director Bastian Reinhardt, despite losing two straight matches, showed their appreciations for Son who recently returned from a serious foot injury which he sustained during preseason. “He looked excellent in training and had earned his starting place,” said Veh on the surprising choice he made in starting Son.
Reinhardt said, “”He did great, but he realized this week how brutal professional football can be after playing in Frankfurt and Cologne in just three days.”
Son’s goal — Cologne vs. Hamburg (2010-2011 Bundesliga Round Ten)