South Korea Men's football team pipped arch rivals Japan 2-1 to win a career-defining Gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games.
The men's team avoided military service by winning an Asian Games gold. The win allowed Tottenham Hotspur’s star striker Heung-min Son, Hellas Verona’s Lee Seung-woo and Hamburger SV’s Hwang Hee-chan to continue their careers uninterrupted by the army service.
Conscription in South Korea requires all able-bodied male citizens, between the ages of 18 and 35, to complete a 21-month military service but athletes who bag an Olympics medal or a gold at the Asian Games are exempted.
Defending champions South Korea went goalless against a resilient World No 55 Japan at the end of 90 minutes. South Korea, however, took a 1-0 lead after Lee Seung-Woo fired a shot into the top of the net. Hwang Hee-Chan (101’) soon doubled Korea’s lead with a precise header off skipper Heung-min Son’s free-kick from the far corner.
Japan’s Ayase Ueda (115’) threatened to drag the match to penalties after he reduced the lead to 1-2. But the Koreans held their nerve to retain the Asian Games yellow metal.
(With Agency inputs)