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‘Sonaldo’ scores after 80-yard dash

Emphatic solo effort is already being called the goal of the season
Dec 09,2019
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Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur scores during an English Premier League match against Burnley FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday. [REUTERS/YONHAP]
It may only be December, but Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min has already scored what could be the goal of the season.

Son’s wonder goal came as Spurs took on Burnley FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday. With Spurs already up 2-0, Son scored his 10th goal of the season in the 32nd minute, and he did so in style. Taking control of the ball deep within his own half, Son sprinted about 80 yards to score Spurs’ third goal of the match unassisted.

The distance and speed of Son’s improbable solo effort made headlines around the world.

“I see Dele running on the left side,” Son told Spurs TV after the game. “Many players from Burnley. I tried to pass first over to Dele because it was open and then the right back was following, and it was almost impossible to pass to him. I tried to put my boost on. After two or three seconds, I was in front of the goal. I was really surprised. When you score this kind of goal at home it makes [you] so proud. It feels amazing.”

Following Son’s goal, Spurs added two more to pick up a big 5-0 victory. A win at home allowed Spurs to add three points in the Premier League standing, now ranked at sixth with six wins, five draws and five losses, totaling 23 points.

“Sonny’s goal was incredible, the others as well,” Spurs manager Jose Mourinho told Spurs TV. “The combination for Moussa’s goal, the two shots from Harry [Kane] - tremendous football. It could have been more. We were so, so good.”

With his wonder goal, Son earned another nickname, “Sonaldo,” after football legend Ronaldo Nazario. Mourinho said Son’s goal reminded him of Ronaldo’s goal back in 1996, during Barcelona’s match against Compostela.

But Mourinho can’t exactly claim he invented the nickname.

“Even before this goal, my son calls him Sonaldo, Sonaldo Nazario,” Mourinho said in a post-match conference. “And today he was Sonaldo Nazario. The only thing that came to my mind is the goal where I had the honor to be sitting next to Sir Bobby Robson. It was in 1996, and Ronaldo got the ball behind the midfield line and scored a very similar goal to Son. It’s the only thing that comes into my mind, amazing goal.”

In addition to a goal scored, Son also added another assist with Kane’s goal in the fourth minute.

Since Mourinho was appointed, Son has been assigned in the starting lineup in all five matches and has scored two goals while adding five assists. Son’s 10th league goal of the 2019-20 season also means he has scored double-digit goals for four straight seasons.

Son’s performance allowed him to continue his dominance at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

When the stadium first opened in April this year, Son was the first-ever player to score at the Spurs’ new stadium during an English Premier League match against Crystal Palace. Since then, Son has been involved in 15 goals in his 15 appearances at the new stadium, more than any other player. Of the 15, Son scored nine.

Spurs will next face Bayern Munich in a UEFA Champions League Group B match at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, on Wednesday, or 5 a.m. on Thursday in Korea.

BY KANG YOO-RIM [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]