The South Korean constitution states all able-bodied men of a certain age are required to serve in the military, even if you’re a high-profile soccer star like Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min.
There are exceptions, however. For instance, the government rewards winners of Asian Games gold medals with exemption from service.
So when South Korea scored twice in extra time to surge past Japan 2-1 in Saturday’s final at the Pakansari Stadium in Indonesia, Son and his teammates earned a lot more than a title.
Just check out the jubilation on the Spurs striker’s face:
Son didn’t score, and the 90 minutes of regulation finished scoreless too, but goals from Lee Seung-woo in the 93rd minute and Hwang Hee-chan in the 101st minute were enough to see South Korea through despite Japan pulling one back thanks to Ayase Ueda in the 115th minute.
Due to his national team duty, Son missed Tottenham’s resounding win over Manchester United on Monday at Old Trafford. He expressed his appreciation for the club’s support after Saturday’s victory:
Son Heung-min: “Tottenham have supported me so much and that means a lot to me. I really want to say thank you to the coach and the fans of Spurs. They are so special.”
— John Duerden (@JohnnyDuerden) September 1, 2018
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