Wins for Japan and South Korea yesterday guaranteed an all East Asian final at the Asian Games this weekend. This now means that South Korea's foes Japan stand in the way of gold for Korea and military exception for the countries players.
It has been much publicised that if Korea wins at the Son Heung-min of Spurs will not need to return home to take part in military duties. However, a defeat for South Korea to Japan and Son could have to face military duties within the year.
Although a lot of the coverage in English language media on South Koreas progress to the final as understandably revolved around Son, the truth is he's been very much the sideshow.
South Koreas win
On Wednesday South Korea comfortably beat Vietnam in the Asian games semi-final 3-1. The match was controlled by the Koreans right from the first whistle and they got into an early lead through Lee Seung-woo.
They then doubled their lead on 28 minutes through Hwang Ui-jo with the pass coming from that man Son. Korea should have maybe had a bigger lead at half-time as they swept their opponents aside so much so they couldn't manage a shot on target in the first half.
Then ten minutes into the second half it was 3-0 with the goal once again coming from the impressive Lee Seung-woo. Vietnam showed some fighting spirit to at least reduce the deficit when Tran Minh Vuong's free kick in the 72nd minute made it 3-1.
That was to be that however and South Korea made it through to the Asian Game final due to take place on Saturday. A negative though is Lee Seung-woo was stretchered off near the end of the match and the hope is he will be fit for Saturday. While at the end of the match the team looked in need of a rest and will have to fully recharge for Saturday's match with Japan.
Meanwhile, Japan also win
With with a lot of attention on South Korea, their opponents Japan looked strong today as they overcame UAE 1-0. This was not a great game with the only goal coming 12 minutes from time from Ayase Ueda.
It was an average performance from Japan with the media in Japan not giving any player more than a 7/10.
They now face South Korea in the final though and are desperate for the gold medal. This was clear as their manager Moriyasu said at the full-time whistle "It was a really difficult fight, and while fatigue was a factor, the players fought without any problems. I now do not feel like losing. I want to make you all happy".