South Korean Wins Gold Medal in Soccer, Players Earn Military Exemption


Jakarta, MINA — There has been a huge amount of international attention on the 2018 Asian Games and South Korea’s attempts to win soccer gold and the focus reached a height on Saturday.

That is all because of Son Heung-min. Fortunately, the 26 year-old is now exempt from military service thanks to events in Indonesia, Yonhap reported.

South Korea defeated Japan 2-1 in the 2018 Asian Games gold medal match and won much more besides. Late goals from Lee Seung-woo and Hwang Hee-chan not only gave the young Taegeuk Warriors center spot on the podium in Indonesia but gave 20 players exemption from 21 months of national duty.

Because of Son, there was serious media attention about the soccer future of the Korean team. The 26 year-old will be able to stay with English Premier League giant Tottenham Hotspur until the end of the current contract in 2023 and he will not have to return to Korea for national duty.

The result was satisfactory but the game was, however, far from easy. Korea was more experienced but unlike the team from Seoul led by Kim Hak-bom, which was about the here and now and exemption from the military, Japan was building for the future. As such, there was little to no pressure on Japan, a team that was focused on the 2020 Olympics which will be held in Tokyo.

That is in the future. On Saturday at the final of the Asian Games, it was very tense. At the end of 90 minutes in West Java, Korea had been on top but was unable to break the deadlock against the Samurai Blue. Then it all changed in the first period of extra time. Three minutes in extra time Lee Seung-woo, the former Barcelona forward who has improved as the tournament has progressed, put Korea ahead.

Soon after that Hwang Hee-chan extended Korea’s lead and that seemed to be that. With five minutes left however, Japan pulled a goal back thanks to Ayase Ueda to ensure that there were plenty of nerves.

Regardless, Korea hung on for the win and all the benefits that came with it. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

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