Shortly after, Yang Hyun-jun turned former Real Madrid full back Emerson Royal inside out, danced his way through toward goal before trying to squeeze the ball into the far corner. Unfortunately, his shot rolled wide but it was a real show of skill by the young Gangwon winger. But the goal did come as just before the referee's whistle was blown for half time, Cho Gue-sung sent in a stunning header from a wonderfully hit cross from the left by FC Seoul's Aleksander Paločević. Half time: Team K League 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur. Second halfAt half time, Antonio Conte made a whole host of chances including bringing on Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris among aothers. Son, too came on too but once the second half had already kicked off which, it was later revealed by Conte, was on purpose so that the South Korean star could get an ovation all to himself as he came on. Team K League made a few subs including Kim Jin-hyuk whose first contribution was to turn the ball into his own net while trying to block Harry Kane's cross.
Harry Kane got on the scoresheet too which will have come as little surprise to anyone but there was perhaps one thing that happened that wasn't expected. As was the case in 2019, the star wearing the number seven shirt wasn't in the starting lineup. Son Heung-min was left on the bench with fans made to wait for the homecoming of the South Korean national team captain.
But, certainly initially, the was played in good spirits and not even the monsoonal downpours that soaked much of Seoul all day in the lead-up to the game could dampen them. Lucas Moura had Spurs' first shot of the match but it went wide. Team K League's build-up play was more considered and seemed to be less risk-averse so not to show their hand too easily. Perhaps knowing that another moment on the ball in the attacking third might not come again for a while. Things got a little bit heated when Spurs centre back Davinson Sanchez decided to have a pop at Lee Seung-woo.
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Team K League replied shortly after, though. Lars Veldwijk found space on the edge of the box before guiding the ball into the bottom corner. But almost immediately, Harry Kane was on target for Tottenham to cap off a hectic start to the second period. At this point, it wasn't completely clear what the score was. The big screen in the stadium said 3-2 to Spurs, the Coupang Play stream said 2-2. Kim Jin-hyuk's own goal seemed to go unnoticed by the PA announcer.
But with no U22 players to haul off as is the norm for Kim, he and his namesake had to make do with hooking the player wearing 22, Kwon Chang-hoon. Lee Seung-woo went off with him after a very positive 30-minute cameo. Another Suwon player, Lars Veldwijk, came on while Yang Hyun-jun swapped places with Kwon. One of the highlights of the half for Team K League was the hooked clearance by Dave Bulthuis who, with a deft touch, somehow managed to pluck the ball from the air and away from goal and keep the score at 1-0.
The noise generated when the likes of Lee Seung-woo and Cho Gue-sung made advances toward goal was almost deafening. Noise levels went up several notches when Tottenham's Richarlison looked like he had an open goal then Emerson Royal skewed wide. Sangam definitely didn't need the young lady over the PA system to say "round of applause". But it wasn't really a K League crowd, certainly didn't sound like one. The "oohs" from the 64, 000-strong crowd sounded more like what you would see at the Banpo Bridge fireworks display than a football match. There were even changes of Daehanminguk in the second half which made it sound like a national team game. Any time the ball was in the middle third you could hear a pin drop but when either team got past the half-way one, the crowd made themselves heard.
Any semblance of structure went out the window for Team K League as soon as sweeping changes were made at half time. Similar to how things were three years ago in that second half against Juventus. And then, as if it was a testimonial, the referee awarded a mysterious penalty to Tottenham. Amano Jun the pantomime villain with what was judged to have been a handball.
No prizes for guessing who took the spot kick as Son stepped up to convert, sending Kim Young-kwang the wrong way. After the goal we got confirmation that it was 4-2 to Spurs. Unluckyfor Kim Jin-hyuk who might have hought he got away with his own goal. And then, almost as if the match was scripted, Amano Jun was given the chance to make up his ghost handball with a shooting opportunity from a free-kick. While getting ready, the Ulsan Hyundai midfielder gestured to the camera that it wasn't a handball.
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