South Korea’s Son Heung Min waves as he runs into the pitch as a replacement during their men’s soccer match between South Korea and Malaysia at the 18th Asian Games at Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung, Indonesia, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/ Achmad Ibrahim )If South Korea’s national team is to reach the final of the Asian Games and win an exemption from military service for its players, then it will have to get past Vietnam and the “Korean Hiddink.”Korean coach Park Hang-seo, a member of Guus Hiddink’s coaching staff at the 2002 World Cup when South Korea reached the semifinals, is coaching Vietnam.ADVERTISEMENT DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced MOST READ And that could be a severe interruption to his Premier League career. Son skipped the 2014 Asian Games on home soil when the South Koreans won the gold medal.He missed South Korea’s opener and went on as a replacement in a surprising group-stage loss to Malaysia, but scored in the deciding group game to ensure his team progressed to the knockouts.The title defense was touch and go on Monday, with South Korea trailing 3-2 against Uzbekistan with 15 minutes of the quarterfinal remaining.Hwang Ui-jo, the tournament’s leading scorer, completed his hat-trick to equalize at 3-3 and take the game into extra-time, and Hwang Hee-chan slotted home a penalty with two minutes remaining to send the South Koreans into the semifinals.Now Son and teammates are in the position of having to beat a determined and disciplined Vietnam team coached by a man who knows Korean football extremely well.“I’m trying to pass on my knowledge and football philosophy to this team,” Park said of his strategy with Vietnam. “I always emphasize to the team that it’s not about me, but it’s about us.”The winner will progress to the Asian Games final to face either Japan or the United Arab Emirates on Sep. 1.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Usain Bolt struggling with football pace, but working hard Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? South Korea’s unlikely run to the semifinals in ’02, in the World Cup it co-hosted with Japan, had millions of fans pouring onto the streets in cities across the country to celebrate victories.Park’s success with Vietnam has sparked similar scenes in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and elsewhere when he took the national team to the final of Asia’s under-23 championship in January. At the Asian Games in Indonesia, another Under-23 tournament, Vietnam’s so-called Golden Stars have reached the last four and once more fans at home are getting excited.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“Back then (in 2002) I was an assistant coach, but now I’m a head coach,” Park said after Vietnam’s quarterfinal win over Syria set up a semifinal match against the South Koreans. “We stopped in the semifinals in 2002. But now we’ll not stop in the semifinals.”The Asian Games semifinal gives Park a reunion with former K-League coaching counterpart Kim Hak-bom, now leading South Korea’s under-23s. Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins “I’ve known him since the K-League days and we’re sharing the same hotel,” Park said. “As you know, he is such a good tactician — he’s known as ‘(Alex) Ferguson of the K-League.’”Park’s exploits with Vietnam, a perennial football underachiever in the region, have been followed closely in the Korean media.“I really love my country, but now I’m head coach of the Vietnamese national team,” he said. “I’m having a good time with Vietnam and I’m enjoying my work.”Now Park and his players stand in the way of Tottenham forward Son Heung-min and Korean squad. Son has been given leave from his Premier League club to take part in Indonesia as one of three overage players that each team is allowed.The reason: The South Korean government rewards Asian Games gold medals and Olympic medals of any kind with an exemption from the compulsory 21-month military service. Failure to win a gold medal in Indonesia will likely mean that the 26-year-old Son will have to return to South Korea within the next two years to perform his national duty.ADVERTISEMENT Peza offers relief to ecozone firms View comments Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew
Accompanying the post was a photo of the team training the day after the debacle which left Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane clinging to the Champions League as their only lifeline in a sinking season.Real lost 2-1 at home and were eliminated on away goals in the cup quarter-finals by a club nicknamed the “pepineros” (or cucumber growers) and only in their second season in La Liga.“This is a disaster for me,” Zidane said on Wednesday night after the loss to Leganes.A Real Madrid side filled with back-up players was, the sports daily Marca wrote, “disorganised, lacking tenacity, without leadership in the middle and with a depressed (Karim) Benzema at the front of an army without ammunition.”Real, who started the game with a 1-0 lead from the away leg, let slip the second potential trophy of the season after effectively bidding adios to the league, where they trail Barcelona by 19 points.“This is a serious setback for Zidane, because it highlights the squad’s malaise and collective discouragement,” wrote the editor of the newspaper AS.– Mental problem –“I do not think it’s a physical problem, the mind is much more powerful and, in the general analysis, you can put the mental first when presenting the problem to the doctor,” said captain Sergio Ramos after the Leganes debacle.Just as it seemed Real Madrid had turned the corner with two consecutive victories, they gave a display which ended with the home fans whistling their players off the pitch.“This debacle, which shows up the way the squad and Zidane approached a competition that had become a priority, was a tragedy that leaves Madrid in an agonising, almost anguished, situation. The whole season hangs on the Champions League,” Marca said.“These are tough times when you have to be together so you do not throw away the rest of the season. We must work and focus on the only card we have left: the Champions League,” said Ramos.Leganes sit 13th in La Liga. On the face of it, Real, who are fourth, face a far tougher challenge on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Valencia, who are five points ahead in third. Valencia have only lost once at home in the league this season, to Villarreal, and gained a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu in August. If Real fail to win, Villarreal who host Real Sociedad later in the day could leapfrog a place in the table, pushing Real out of the Champions League qualifying places.Yet for Real and their coach the Champions League last-16 encounter with Paris Saint-Germain on February 14 and March 6 is now make or break.“Of course that’s clear”, answered Zidane when asked on Wednesday whether he thought his job was in danger, despite a recent contract extension to 2020, if his side failed in Europe.The French coach took responsibility for the debacle and refused to blame his players.“Rebirth from disaster is part of their religion,” Rafa Cabeleira wrote in the newspaper El País.Real will need to start that rebirth against PSG in just 20 days.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Real Madrid lost 2-1 at home and were eliminated on away goals in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals by a club nicknamed the “pepineros” © AFP / JAVIER SORIANOMADRID, Spain, Jan 25 – Cristiano Ronaldo tweeted his encouragement for his club and their fans on Thursday, hours after Real Madrid suffered a humiliating elimination by lowly Leganes in the Copa del Rey.“Courage team. Courage Madrid fans. We still have many battles to win,” wrote Ronaldo in his official Twitter account.