Dubai: South Korea attacking midfielder Lee Jae-sung is a doubt for Friday’s Asian Cup Group C match against Kyrgyzstan due to a toe injury, according to the Korea Football Association (KFA).
The 26-year-old, who played 86 minutes of the Korean’s 1-0 win over the Philippines on Monday, did not take part in Wednesday’s training session.
“Lee’s right big toe was bent during South Korea’s opening match against the Philippines on Monday, and he is feeling pain,” a KFA official said.
“The swelling in his toe is getting better, but for quick recovery, Lee didn’t take part in today’s training. He’s currently staying at a hotel for rehabilitation.”
Portuguese coach Paulo Bento will also be without Ki Sung-yueng after the Newcastle United defensive midfielder injured his hamstring in Monday’s game.
Ki, 29, has been ruled out for a week and will also miss second-placed Korea’s final group game against leaders China on January 16 when Son Heung-min is scheduled to make his tournament debut.
Meanwhile, Lebanon coach Miodrag Radulovic said his team were playing “against 12 or 13” as he slammed the referee in an extended rant after Wednesday’s Asian Cup defeat by Qatar.
Radulovic said Chinese referee Ma Ning had ruined Lebanon’s chances by ruling out a first-half goal which would have put them 1-0 up against the 2022 World Cup hosts.
Qatar eventually won the Group E game 2-0 after second-half goals from Bassam Al Rawi and Almoez Ali, leaving Lebanon waiting for their first ever Asian Cup win.
“It’s difficult to talk after such a game because I teach my team to play 11 against 11 players, but (this was) 11 against 12 or 13, meaning the referees,” fumed the Montenegrin.
“When you play ... perfect, tactically disciplined, you score 1-0 and they steal our goal, it’s very difficult to continue after that,” he added.
Ali Hamam’s volley on 39 minutes was ruled out for a shove by Lebanon’s George Felix Melki, a decision that enraged the animated Radulovic on the touchline.
Qatar finally got their breakthrough 20 minutes into the second half from a free-kick just outside the box which was given for Hassan Maatouk’s handball.
Radulovic claimed the officiating was “not 50-50”, saying that Qatar committed “more than 20 fouls” but did not receive any yellow cards.
“We played textbook football,” Radulovic said. “When they cancelled the goal, my players lost concentration, they lost confidence, they saw what happened and it was very difficult after that to continue with such a game.
“They broke our morale and our confidence.”
However, Qatar coach Felix Sanchez said he had no complaints about the officiating and that he agreed with the decision to disallow Lebanon’s goal.
“I think the goal was a foul. I saw the replay on TV ... and I agree with (the officials),” said the Spaniard.