Asian games 2018 soccer final scoreJapan are through to the final of Asian Games 2018 after toiling to a 1-0 semi-final win over United Arab Emirates at the Pakansari Stadium on Wednesday. South Korea’s 2-1 victory over Japan at the Asian Games soccer final on Saturday earned star forward Son Heung-min a gold medal— and an exemption from nearly two years of mandatory military duty South Korean law states that all able-bodied men of a certain age must perform 21 months of service in the armed forces, though athletes who medal at the Olympics or win gold at the Asian Games are excused. Son, a standout for English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, would have had to sacrifice the prime of his career had he lost on Saturday. He didn’t, and Son’s employers seem pretty happy about the result.
Star striker Son Heung-min has been in the news around the world this week because of his military service predicament. Every able-bodied South Korean male has to enlist in the military, but for soccer players, the service period comes right in the middle of their careers, which can make it difficult for them to move to European clubs or force those in Europe to return to Korea.
The Asian Games aren’t officially recognized by FIFA, but Son’s predicament ratcheted up the stakes for a tournament that rarely registers on the radar of world soccer. Nations field Under-23 squads, but teams are granted three spots for older participants. Given that this was the 26-year-old Son’s last chance at a military exemption, he missed the start of Tottenham’s season to try and lead South Korea to gold. He’s likely the best player to ever play in this tournament, but victory wasn’t a given, and South Korea faced multiple close calls along the way.…Read more