South Korea 2 China 0: Son sets the standard as Bento's men take top spot

Son Heung-min impressed on his first outing of the Asian Cup 2019 as South Korea comfortably defeated China to top Group C.

Hwang Ui-jo opened the scoring for South Korea as he clinically dispatched a penalty into the bottom-left corner.   -  Getty Images

South Korea secured top spot in Group C of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 with a convincing 2-0 win over China at the Al Nahyan Stadium.

Tottenham forward Son Heung-min, who was granted permission to miss the 1-0 wins over Philippines and Kyrgyzstan, was influential on his first outing of the tournament.

South Korea vs China: Stats and Minute-by-minute commentary

Son won the penalty from which Hwang Ui-jo opened the scoring after 14 minutes and provided the corner for Kim Min-jae to double the lead early in the second half.

It was a deserved win for Paulo Bento's side, which looked a far more convincing outfit with Son in its starting XI and his arrival should offer hope of a run into the latter stages of a tournament it has not won since 1960.

 

Korea will now face the best third-placed team from Group A, B or F, while Marcello Lippi's men – who would have topped the group with a point – have a last-16 date with Thailand.

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Hwang had already been denied one-on-one and Kim put a free header wide by the time Son drew a foul in the area with Zheng Zhi and Shi Ke having a nibble at the Tottenham forward. The spot-kick was clinically dispatched into the bottom-left corner by Hwang and only the far post cruelly denied his brilliant curling effort from the left of the box making it 2-0.

It was essentially game over by the 51st minute when Kim emphatically headed home Son's left-side corner at the near post. Kim Moon-hwan was unfortunate to see an edge-of-the-box shot bend wide after a jinking run, while Kim Jin-su and Hwang Hee-chan also went close to adding what would have been a deserved third.

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