Kaoru Mitoma (26, Brighton), a “Japanese red horse” who has advanced to the English professional football Premier League (EPL), is closely following Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham).
In the 2022-23 EPL round 22 home game against Bournemouth held at Amex Stadium in Brighton, England on the 5th (Korean time), Mitoma scored a dramatic header-winning goal at the end of the game to lead the team to a 1-0 victory.
In the 42nd minute of the second half, Jeremy Sarmiento raised a cross from the left flank, and Mitoma headed it in.
It was Mitoma’s 5th goal of the season and his 2nd consecutive goal.
Mitoma, who made his debut in the EPL this season, was initially used as a bench resource, but he was recognized for his true value and took the starting position.
After the 2022 Qatar World Cup break, he is showing amazing performance as if he has gained confidence.
Including the goal against Bournemouth that day, he scored 4 goals in his last 5 games.
In the match against Liverpool in the 20th round, where he failed to score a goal, he almost fooled the opponent’s defense with ‘lightspeed’ speed and foot talent, contributing to the team’s 3-0 victory.
Mitoma was recognized early on in Japan as a player approaching the world level.
In his first professional team, Kawasaki Frontale (Japan), he dominated the Japanese stage by scoring 30 official goals in a season and a half from 2020.
In the summer of 2021, he joined Brighton and entered the European stage.
In the Belgian league, where he was transferred on loan immediately, his ability was recognized by scoring 8 goals in the official match, and he entered the Brighton first team this season.
At the Qatar World Cup, he played a decisive role in Japan’s advancement to the round of 16, imprinting his name in the minds of soccer fans around the world.
In the match against Spain in the third match of the group stage, which confirmed Japan’s progress to the round of 16, it was Mito Mada who scored a cross that ended in a 2-1 winning goal just before the ball went over the goal line.
Regardless of the controversy surrounding whether the ball went off the line, everyone praised Mitoma’s concentration as he threw himself and put his foot on the ball without giving up.
Japanese soccer fans are cheering, saying, “Finally, a goalkeeper who can surpass Son Heung-min has appeared in Japan.”
Korean fans also nicknamed Mitoma ‘Red Toma’ and show great interest in his performance.
This season, the scoring competition between Son Heung-min and Mitoma is emerging as the biggest concern. 안전놀이터
Looking at the career scoring record, Mitoma is no match for Son Heung-min.
Son Heung-min has been on the European stage for over 10 years and has scored 139 goals in Germany and England.
In the EPL, he scored 97 goals, leaving only 3 goals to complete the 100th goal ‘golden achievement’.
However, looking at the EPL scoring pace this season, it is true that Mitoma is fast.
Son Heung-min is recording 4 goals in the EPL, 1 goal short of Mitoma.
If this continues, Mitoma will be remembered as the best Asian striker in the EPL this season.
However, Son Heung-min, who was sluggish until the middle of the season due to an arm fracture injury, has recently shown a gradual improvement in performance, making it difficult to predict the results of a season based on the records so far.
Son Heung-min recently scored multiple goals in the 4th round match (Tottenham won 3-0) of the English Football Association (FA) Cup with Preston.
Even in Son Heung-min’s team, Tottenham, Mitoma is a difficult existence.
Tottenham are currently in 5th place (36 points). The realistic goal is to be in the top 4, where tickets to advance to the European Football Federation (UEFA) Champions League (UCL) are given next season.
Thanks to Mitoma’s performance, Brighton rose to 6th place (34 points), below Tottenham’s jaw.
If Brighton continues the momentum of 3 wins and 1 loss in the last 4 games in the second half, it may become more difficult for Tottenham to enter the top 4.
Article provided by Mania Times