South Korea forward Son Heung-min thanked his teammates for making his 100th appearance in national colours one to remember after they recovered from a drubbing against Brazil last week to ease past Chile on Monday.
Son marked the landmark with a stunning late free kick to seal the 2-0 win over 10-man Chile after Hwang Hee-chan had put the hosts in front with a first-half strike.
“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 29-year-old.
Son enjoyed a prolific season with Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 24 times and providing 10 assists across all competitions as Antonio Conte’s team secured Champions League qualification.
Asked if he ever thought he would reach 100 caps, Son said: “Time has flown by, and I’ve barely had time to reflect. I’ve dreamed about maybe reaching the century mark one day, but mostly, I’ve been trying not to get too ahead of myself.”
Korea will host Paraguay in a friendly on Friday before taking on Egypt four days later.