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Soccer-Son shows Eriksen support as South Korea secure top spot

HONG KONG: Son Heung-min sent a message of support to his former Tottenham Hotspur teammate Christian Eriksen after scoring the goal that guaranteed South Korea top spot in their qualifying group for the 2022 World Cup with a 2-1 win over Lebanon on Sunday.

Son scored from the penalty spot in the 66th minute to earn Paulo Bento's side victory in Goyang before running to a pitchside camera and holding up his fingers to signal 23, the shirt number Erikson wore during his time at Spurs.

"Christian Eriksen, I love you," Son said as he peered into the camera.

Eriksen collapsed during Denmark's meeting with Finland in their Euro 2020 opener in Copenhagen on Saturday and was taken to hospital after receiving CPR on the pitch.

Son and Eriksen played together for Tottenham from 2015 until the Dane departed the Premier League club to move to Inter Milan in January last year.

The South Koreans had already guaranteed themselves a place in the third round of Asia's qualifying tournament for the World Cup in Qatar next year before the meeting with Lebanon and went behind to a 12th minute goal from Hassan Saad.

Son Min-kyu's header beat Mehdi Khalil due to a deflection six minutes after the restart to pull the Koreans level and Son struck from the penalty spot to give his side the win and seal first place in Group H.

The result means Lebanon finish second in the standings on 10 points and will now have to wait for the outcome of the remaining matches in the second round to see if they qualify as one of the five best runners-up.

The winners of seven of the eight groups in the current phase of Asia's preliminaries will advance to the third round alongside the five second-placed finishers with the best records.

Hosts Qatar will not feature in the next phase despite winning Group E as they qualify automatically for the World Cup as hosts.

South Korea, Japan, Syria and Australia have already confirmed their places in the third round with the remainder of berths to be determined on Tuesday.

Twelve nations that qualify for the final round will be split into two groups of six in the quest Asia's four guaranteed places at the World Cup, while a fifth spot available via an intercontinental playoff.

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters


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