'It was like war': S.Koreans describe aggressive match against North Korea

VIDEO SHOWS: SOUTH KOREAN SOCCER PLAYERS, INCLUDING SON HEUNG-MIN (A TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STRIKER), ARRIVING AT SOUTH KOREA'S INCHEON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AFTER WORLD CUP QUALIFIER IN PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA; SOUNDBITES FROM SON; SOUNDBITES FROM CHOI YOUNG-IL, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE KOREA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

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INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA (OCTOBER 17, 2019) (YONHAP NEWS TELEVISION - Broadcasters: NO USE SOUTH KOREA Digital: NO USE SOUTH KOREA)

1. SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS WALKING THROUGH GATE INCLUDING TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STRIKER, SON HEUNG-MIN

2. FANS HOLDING JERSEYS READING (English): "H M SON" "SON"

3. SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS WALKING THROUGH GATE INCLUDING HWANG HEE-CHAN AND GOALKEEPER, JO HYUN-WOO

4. VARIOUS OF SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS BEING WELCOMED BY AND SHAKING HANDS WITH OFFICIALS

5. MICROPHONES / SON SPEAKING

6. SON BEING INTERVIEWED BY JOURNALISTS

7. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SOCCER PLAYER, SON HEUNG-MIN, SAYING:

"It's such a shame we could not win. But to be honest, the game was so tough that I think we were very lucky already to be back with no one injured. Our players weren't really like that, but the other team's players reacted sensitively and aggressively."

8. SON BEING INTERVIEWED BY JOURNALISTS

9. SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SOCCER PLAYER, SON HEUNG-MIN, SAYING:

"Frankly, we could even hear many of the very offensive curses from the other side."

10. SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS WALKING THROUGH GATE

11. MANAGER OF SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SOCCER, PAULO BENTO SPEAKING

12. KOREA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION'S CHOI YOUNG-IL, BEING INTERVIEWED BY JOURNALISTS

13. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) VICE PRESIDENT OF KOREA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION (KFA), CHOI YOUNG-IL, SAYING:

"It was like war. Never in my life have I seen such a game. The North Korean players screamed, gave deadly stares…We wanted to play soccer in a technical manner, but they wanted to play emotionally."

14. SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS WALKING / GOALKEEPER JO SIGNING AUTOGRAPH FOR FAN

15. SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SOCCER PLAYER, GU SUNG-YUN, SIGNING AUTOGRAPH FOR FAN

16. HWANG WALKING THROUGH AIRPORT / HWANG RECEIVING GIFT FROM FAN

STORY: South Korea were happy to have made it back from Pyongyang in one piece after Tuesday's (October 15) brutal 2022 World Cup qualifier, with a Korean FA official describing the physical encounter as being "like war".

The game, the first between the two teams on North Korean soil in 30 years, ended in a 0-0 draw and was played out in front of empty stands. There was no broadcast of the game after the North refused to screen it live.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Son Heung-min, upon arrival at the Incheon airport on Thursday (October 17), said it had been a bad-tempered match.

"To be honest, the game was so tough that I think we were very lucky already to be back with no one injured," Son said, "we could even hear many of the very offensive curses from the other side."

The North provided a recorded copy of the match on DVD after refusing to broadcast it live, but South Korean public broadcaster KBS cancelled its plan to air the game on Thursday due to poor quality of the footage.

(Production: Daewoung Kim, Heejung Jung)

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