Al Jazeera Net correspondent
Doha The South Korean national team has not only displayed beautiful football and unparalleled grit and determination in the Asian Cup so far, but has also sent a message to all teams and their young and old fans, entitled “Love Football.”
On the front lines to deliver this message was national team captain Son Heung-min, the star of the “Taeguk Warriors” team's 2-1 victory over Australia. He took the penalty kick that led to the equalizing goal late in the first half, then scored the second goal from a direct free kick in the first extra period.
Just as he was a star and a leader during the match, after the match Son confirmed that he was a leader and a thinker. He was not very happy as usual, and he was eager to apologize to the Australian fans and console the Australian players. In a scene that is repeated with every victory of South Korea and after every match in the Asian Championship.
See the shot of Al-Bulahi with his son, but from another angle, it is clear that the topic was a joke between the players, and an embrace followed at the end of the match. Some people tried to dramatize the topic because they were embarrassed by Asia's best defender. #Ali_Al-Balihi pic.twitter.com/upFOlJN9px
– Saleh Al-Shehhi 🇦🇪 (@Saleh_R9) 1 February 2024
Following their thrilling and “dramatic” victory over Saudi Arabia on penalties, Son went to the “Green” fans to apologise, while he insisted on reaching out to every Saudi player – including defender Ali Al-Bulahi, There was a fight between them. and goalkeeper Al-Kassar – to console them and boost their morale.
Son Heung-min 🫂 Ali Al-Bulahi
– #AsiaCup2023 (@afcasiancup_ar) 30 January 2024
The Korean team is credited for the patience, focus and determination with which it played, as it was able to make two comeback matches and avoid early exit from the tournament twice, in the last minute of stoppage time:
- Against Australia, Hwang Hee Chan scored from a penalty kick in the 6th minute of 7 minutes of stoppage time
- Against Saudi Arabia, Cho Kyu-seung scored in the 9th minute of 10 minutes of stoppage time.
Among the fans of the confrontation – yesterday, Friday – at the Al-Janoub Stadium, who numbered about 40,000, to whom Son apologized: several thousand children who came to the stadium with their families, and whenever the image of one of them appeared The fans interacted with him warmly on the indoor screens of the stadium. Three goals were not scored in the match.
joy of victory
Filipino child, Marlon Rota (10 years old), was seen with his brother Marvin (6 years old) and their parents after the match, waving the South Korean flag and happy with his team's victory over Australia.
Marlon, who attended the match with his parents, told Al Jazeera Net that he enjoyed attending the match and supporting the South Korean national team, and he enjoyed watching the children's photos displayed on the interior screens of Al Janoub Stadium. Had a conversation with.
He says that he loves football, and his father encourages him to practice it, and he always attends matches with him, as he has previously accompanied him to more than one match of the Qatar national team. Had participated.
As for Australian fan Tom Dacey, he came with his sister Eva and his friend Charles Gough to support his country's team. He enjoyed the atmosphere of the match and the presence of the crowd, but was saddened by his team's elimination at the end.
Tom (13 years old) told Al Jazeera Net that he has been living with his parents in Doha for 7 years, and that his attendance to support his country's national team is his duty, and he fully expects That Australia will win this match. ,
He says that he has become very fond of life in the State of Qatar, which he enjoys very much, as he enjoys all aspects of life here, as the Asian Championship is currently taking place, and as of 2022 Happened in the World Cup.
football is fun
While Saudi fan Ahmed Al Sharara (27 years old) appeared wearing the South Korean flag and national team captain Son's shirt to support it in the match against Australia.
Ahmed Al Sharara (his mother is from South Korea) told Al Jazeera Net that he had booked tickets for the match to support the Saudi national team when they qualified, but South Korea's qualification left them some distance short of their Didn't stop him from getting in the car. Drove a distance of 320 km (4 hours) to support it, as it is their second country.
He says football is fun, and the goal of the tournament is to enjoy it and watch the players, and I attended three Saudi matches in the group stage.
While South Korean fan Cyrus Woo was seen with his family after the match, happy with his country's victory and the performance of the players, especially during stoppage time, not disappointed in their return to the match.
Wu (who lives in Bahrain) told Al Jazeera Net that he was happy with the atmosphere he was experiencing in Qatar during the Asian Championships, as he traveled from Manama with his family to support his country's team at the Asian Championships. Came to Doha.
He says that Qatar is a beautiful country, and it has changed and evolved a lot for the better. It is seeing great renaissance and development at all levels since he visited Doha 5 years ago, but it has become completely different.