He was one of Korea's star performer in the recent 2018 World Cup in Russia, one of the top stars of English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the reigning Asian Football Confederation player of the year but Son Heung-min was not needed by his country yesterday.
South Korea U23 side playing in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia did not need the presence of their star name on the pitch as Son spent the entire 90 minutes on the bench. That did not stop the Koreans from opening their defence of their gold medal in some style.
The Asian giants raced to a 5-0 first half lead with Hwang Ui Jo grabbing an outstanding first half hattrick (17', 36' 43'). Kim Jinya (23') and Na Songho (41') also netted to effectively sealed all three points to Korea before a ball has been kicked in the second half.
Substitute Hwang Hee Chan put the icing on the cake with the sixth goal of the match in the third minute of added time. Bahrain were well and truly outplayed from start to finish, coupled with some calamitous defending.
The result put South Korea on top of Group E ahead of Malaysia who beat Kyrgyzstan 3-1 in the other match and the two teams with maximum points goes head to head on Friday August 15.
With the serious warnings sent out after that big opening, Malaysia will be the one quaking in their boots at the prospects of facing one of the tournament favourites who are already flying at full tilt.
Goal understands that Malaysia's head coach Ong Kim Swee stayed behind to watch the Koreans play and will no doubt spend the next 48 hours thinking of the right counter strategy against his counterpart.