Son wins Asian gold to avoid military service

Son wins Asian gold to avoid military service

Javier Howell
September 2, 2018

The 26-year-old Spurs forward and his South Korea teammates secured their exemptions with the 2-1 win in extra time over regional rivals Japan at Indonesia's Pakan Sari Stadium outside Jakarta Saturday night local time (Saturday morning ET).

All able-bodied South Korean men must complete 21 months service in the military, but exemptions are offered to athletes who win gold at the Asian Games or any medal at the Olympics.

Tottenham allowed Son to miss their Premier League games against Fulham, Manchester and Sunday's clash with Watford, which live on Sky Sports Football, to compete in the tournament, and South Korea's triumph hung in the balance with a 0-0 scoreline after 90 minutes. No wonder he was bloody ecstatic!

Son also thanked Tottenham fans for sending him messages of support throughout the tournament.

"So proud of my team mates, they fought for 120 minutes".

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"I am really really, really grateful to them (supporters)". I think we deserved to win. I try to do my best.

Japan pulled a goal back through youngster Ayase Ueda's header five minutes from the end of extra-time but were unable to send the match to penalties.

The celebrations immediately began when the final whistle was blown with every member of the South Korean team running around in jubilation.

"I am so thankful to Tottenham because they let me go, normally it's not easy to do", Son said, dedicating his gold medal to his country.

South Korea dominated the opening half and saw Hwang Ui-jo waste a glorious chance to break the deadlock, and their profligacy continued after the restart. "Of course it was the final so I was a little bit of nervous".