The Asian Cup has thrown up a huge upset as South Korea suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Qatar in the quarter-finals of the tournament, leaving Son Heung-min free to return to Tottenham Hotspur sooner than many expected.
Despite dominating the possession of the match, Son's South Korea struggled to pose any threat to Qatar, and a 78th-minute strike from Abdulaziz Hatem ensured South Korea went home empty handed.
Ahead of the tournament, South Korea were widely believed to be one of the favourites to win the entire competition, meaning Son could have been away on international duty until early February. However, he is now set to return to Tottenham, who have suffered greatly with injuries to their attackers since Son's departure.
Both Dele Alli and Harry Kane have been forced into periods on the sidelines, and the attacking pair of Fernando Llorente and Eric Lamela were unable to prevent Tottenham from suffering elimination from the Carabao Cup at the hands of Chelsea on Thursday.
Mauricio Pochettino will be eager to welcome Son back to the squad as soon as possible, although Sunday's FA Cup clash with Crystal Palace will likely prove to be too soon for Son.
Son Heung Min and South Korea were dealt a shock defeat at the hands of Qatar in the #AsianCup2019 quarter-finals.— Everything Spurs (@EverythingSpur3) January 25, 2019
Despite a disappointment for fans, it does mean that Sonny will return to #THFC earlier than expected should his side had progressed further.#COYS #KORQAT pic.twitter.com/4w7da1KH5g
Tottenham fans will be hoping that Son will be able to continue his electric run of form ahead of the tournament. In his last 12 Premier League games, Son racked up eight goals and six assists, with his goal contributions proving to be vital for Pochettino's side.
After Son's last round international duty - the Asian Games in late August - Son struggled to make an impact in four club games, before eventually being demoted to the bench amid concerns over his fitness.
He withdrew from international duty in November to focus on his club football, and this rest proved vital as Son embarked on his prolific stretch of games.
As part of the Asian Cup, Son has played three games across nine days, and fans will be desperate for Son to recover from such a heavy schedule and make an instant impact upon his return.
Source : 90min