Tottenham kicked off their pre-season tour with a 6-3 win over a K-League All Stars, albeit in chaotic fashion.
Antonio Conte’s side prepare for 2022/23 with a tour of South Korea, returning to an international pre-season schedule for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
International tournaments not only get players in top shape for the new season, challenging them in new climates, but also generate international revenue for clubs, with international fans desperate to watch their favorite teams live.
True, we all know that pre-season results mean next to nothing in the context of a squad’s fortunes for the upcoming campaign. While these international tournaments are great for generating revenue and giving international fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, they ultimately serve as a way to get a proper team match to start the season.
So when Tottenham played a complete nine-goal thriller against a K-League All Stars XI from South Korea, interest was naturally through the roof. In true pre-season fashion, we were treated to a crazy game of football.
The match, which saw Spurs 2-1 up early in the second half, was all but tied at 2-2 after just 52 minutes in a fiercely final contest that saw Conte completely change his team for second half as expected.
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When the big guns were introduced later in the game, South Korean icon Son Heung-min was sent on to the delight of the crowd in attendance, who were able to watch the national team superstar and the man who flies the flag for South Korean football in the flesh .
It didn’t take long for him to get in on the action either, albeit under rather controversial circumstances.
With Spurs 3-2 up thanks to Harry Kane’s goal after 54 minutes, the K-League All-Stars were awarded a penalty some 18 minutes later, allowing Son to step up and convert the spot-kick , thanks to Kane’s generous decision to stand down and let the South Korean take it in his native country.
But the way Tottenham won the penalty was really bizarre and quite suspicious.
Jumping for a loose ball, Yokohama F. Marinos’ Jun Amano appeared to raise his hands with him to catch the uncontested ball instead of controlling it or trying to clear it. In the air, he appears to change his mind and not catch the ball, instead trying to use his chest, but the damage was done and the crazy footage was there for all to see.
You can take a look at the truly absurd handball below, as shared on Reddit.
WATCH: K-League XI gift Son Heung-min penalty in pre-season friendly
Clear punishment. The son with the finish. Good of Kane to let him have it. 4-2🇰🇷 pic.twitter.com/NxVCijmNaz
— coysro 🌊 (@coysro) July 13, 2022
How the hell do we understand this? You can only wonder what was going through Amano’s mind as he jumped up for the ball.
Let’s take a look at some of the fan reactions.
It’s clear to see why fans questioned whether or not the handball was intentional when looking at the footage and considering the circumstances. Maybe Amano wanted to be the hero of the night.
Even more absurd is that just three minutes after committing the questionable handball, Amano went down the other end of the pitch and beat Hugo Lloris with a sensational free-kick. A truly wild game and one that fans in attendance and those watching from elsewhere will soon forget.
Son would go on to score again in the game, securing his brace and Tottenham’s sixth goal with five minutes to play in the thriller that saw two free-kicks scored and a red card as well as suspect handball.
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