Son Heung-min ‘broke his finger’ in Asian Cup bust-up with team-mate over ping pong | Football | Sport

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Son Heung-Min damaged his finger after “a row erupted from nowhere” between South Korean players on the eve of their Asian Cup semi-final defeat. The Taegeuk Warriors were considered strong favourites to reach the final when they were beaten 2-0 by Jordan last Tuesday, ending the ambitions of the Tottenham striker to land a first major trophy at club or international level.

Son, 31, reportedly rowed with younger teammates after they tried to prematurely leave a team dinner to play on the ping pong table. The captain wanted the squad to stick together ahead of their crucial tie, and seemingly took issue with the exits, becoming involved in an exchange with PSG player Lee Kang-in.

But South Korea’s record goalscorer was the one left lamenting the confrontation, left with a broken finger just hours before his team’s date with destiny. “The row erupted from nowhere,” a witness told The Sun.

“A few of the younger players ate very quickly and left the rest of the squad to play ping pong. Son asked them to come back and sit down when some disrespectful things were said to him.

“Within seconds players the row spilled into the dinning area and players were being pulled apart. Son badly injured his finger trying to calm everyone down.”

The incident clearly didn’t help the squad’s preparations, given the following day they went down to a shock defeat to a Jordan side ranked 64 places lower than them. And in a toothless display, Son and co failed to muster a single shot on target as Yazan Al-Naimat and Musa Al-Taamari scored second-half goals.

Noticeably, Son wore strapping over two fingers on his right hand. And that provision was also apparent when he returned to London to come off the bench in Tottenham’s win over Brighton on Saturday.

It didn’t deter him from making a contribution though. The forward created a crucial late winner for Brennan Johnson as Ange Postecoglou’s side prevailed 2-1 in north London.

It leaves Spurs bang in the mix for Champions League qualification. They lie fourth in the table, just a point ahead of Aston Villa after they were beaten by Manchester United on Sunday.

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