South Korean forward Son Heung-min hailed his teammates for making his 100th appearance in national colors memorable after they rebounded from a thrashing at the hands of Brazil last week to beat Chile on Monday.
After Hwang Hee-chan put the hosts ahead with a first-half strike, Son sealed the 2-0 victory with a fantastic late free-kick.
“More so than my goal, I want to thank my teammates for competing in this match with such a great attitude,” Son was quoted as saying by the Yonhap News Agency after the win in Daegu.
“It’s always difficult to bounce back so quickly after the kind of loss we had against Brazil. But everyone showed a lot of mental toughness. I am so happy to have won my 100th match.”
The World Cup-bound Koreans were thumped 5-1 by Brazil in Seoul last Thursday, with Son later saying that he was hopeful that the defeat would be a learning experience for his side.
“It would have been awkward if people had congratulated me on my 100th match after a loss,” added the Tottenham ace.
Son had a fantastic season with Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 24 goals and assisting 10 times in all competitions as Antonio Conte’s side qualified for the Champions League.
When asked if he ever imagined reaching 100 caps, Son replied, “I never believed I’d reach 100 caps. Time has whizzed by, and I’ve barely had time to think about it. I’ve fantasized about reaching the century mark one day, but I’ve largely avoided getting ahead of myself.”
On Friday, Korea will play a friendly against Paraguay before facing Egypt four days later.