Tottenham kicked off their pre-season tour with a 6-3 victory over a K-League All Stars, albeit in chaotic fashion.
Antonio Conte’s side are preparing 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.
International tours not only allow players to get fit for the new season by challenging them in new climates, but also generate international revenue for clubs, with international fans desperate to be able to watch their favorite teams live.
Honestly, we all know that pre-season results mean next to nothing in the context of a team’s fortunes for the upcoming campaign. While these international tours are great for generating revenue and providing international fans with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, they ultimately serve as a way to get a team game in shape for the start of the season.
So when Tottenham played a full nine-goal thriller against a K-League All Stars XI of South Korea, interest was, of course, at its height. In true pre-season fashion, we were treated to a bonkers football game.
The match, which saw Spurs go up 2-1 early in the second half, was squared at 2-2 after just 52 minutes in a supreme end-to-end contest, which saw Conte switch his side entirely for the 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 to the delight of the crowd in attendance, who got to see their national team superstar and the man beating the South Korean football flag in the flesh.
It didn’t take too long for him to get involved in the action either, albeit under rather controversial circumstances.
With Spurs 3-2 thanks to Harry Kane’s goal after 54 minutes, the K-League All-Stars conceded a penalty around 18 minutes later, allowing Son to step in and convert the kick, thanks to Kane’s generous decision to step down and let the South Korean take him to his home country.
But the way Tottenham won the penalty was really bizarre and rather suspicious.
Jumping for a loose ball, Yokohama F. Marinos player Jun Amano appeared to raise his hands with him to catch the ball when it was uncontested, 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 has been done and the bonkers images were there for all to see.
You can take a look at the truly absurd handball below, as shared on Reddit.
WATCH: K-League XI player offers penalty to Son Heung-min in pre-season friendly
Clear penalty. Threads with the finish. Nice of Kane to let him take it. 4-2🇰🇷 pic.twitter.com/NxVCijmNaz
— coysro 🌊 (@coysro) July 13, 2022
How the hell can we make sense of that? You can only wonder what was going through Amano’s head as he got up for the ball.
Let’s take a look at some of the fan reactions.
It’s clear to see why fans were wondering if the handball was intentional or not looking at the footage and considering the circumstances. Maybe Amano wanted to be the hero of the night.
What’s even more absurd is that just three minutes after committing the dodgy handball, Amano came 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 remaining in the thriller, which saw two free-kicks scored and a red card as well as the suspicious handball.