South Koreans express pride, heartbreak after Germany win
SEOUL, South Korea- South Koreans on Thursday spoke of dignity and heartache after watching their national soccer squad knock off protecting champions Germany in the biggest upset of this year’s Football world cup, but one that still failed to qualify them for the next round.
The dense apartment complexes that shape capital Seoul shook with thunders an hour after midnight on Thursday as South Korea scored two stoppage occasion goals to stun Germany 2-0 in what grew both teams’ final match in Russia.
Many Seoul occupants, including thousands of screaming followers gathered in front of jumbo screens in downtown Gwanghwamun, abode up late hearten for the team even after it became certain there is no way to qualify for the round of 16.
South Korea needed to beat Germany and then for Mexico to defeat Sweden to have a chance at advancing from different groups stage. But Sweden killed all hope with three unanswered goals that threw Mexico out of reach midway into the second half in the other Group F finale.
After momentarily celebrating their win, South Korean musicians dropped to the grass, several of them shedding tears, apparently after learning that Mexico lost.
But for many devotees, thumping Germany was as good as a moral succes could get.
“Honestly, I had no expectations at all, but the players did well as they overcame crisis after crisis to seal the win, ” articulated Lee Shin-young, a 39 -year-old office worker in Yongin, near Seoul, who watched from dwelling. “It didn’t gaze good after two straight loss, but I think we restored some of the dignity in Asian soccer by finishing with a win.”
Kim Hyun-tae, who was South Korea’s goalkeeper coach-and-four for the World Cups in 2002 and 2010, the only periods the country built it to the knockout stages, said the win over Germany was crucial because it reinstated confidence in the future of South Korean soccer.
South Korea has a relatively young core, with leading player in their early and mid-2 0s. They can now construct off the counterattacking identity they established during the Germany match, Kim replied. In goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo, who Kim rated as “tremendous, ” South Korea may have also saw a world-class musician who is capable of keeping them in any game.
“This is how South Korea should always play — build a solid defense first and attack with tempo and purpose on the counters, ” mentioned Kim , now a scout director for South Korean club FC Seoul. “It’s so frustrating and mind-boggling that we didn’t play like this against Sweden and Mexico. We necessity a miracle participating the Germany match and we practically drew it off.”
The next major tournament for South Korea will be the Asian Games in August, where several young players would be chasing a amber honour that would exempt them from military services that are mandatory to able-bodied South Korean males.
Following South Korea’s disappointing group-stage elimination from the Brazil World Cup four years earlier, indignant followers waited at international airports to pelt the players with candy upon their return home. The win against Germany almost assures that the reception would be warmer this time around.
“Advancing to the best-of-1 6 was a long shot in the first place, but beating Germany is still something special, ” told Choi Ji-hye, a 40 -year-old office worker in Seoul. “The musicians had been heavily criticized and it would then be pain to live through all that. So it was heartbreaking to recognize them weeping and espousing one another after the match.”
Follow Kim Tong-hyung on Twitter at @KimTongHyung