South Korea, after suffering a shock defeat at the death of extra time against UAE in the semi-finals of 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, defeated Iran 4-3 in a dramatic come-from-behind win on Thursday to bring home the Bronze Medal.
After allowing Iran to score two goals in the first half alone, Koreans pulled one back in the 47th minute with a fantastic 20 yard blast by the captain Koo Ja-cheol.
Iran extended its lead yet again only two minutes later as Karim Ansarifard toe-poked the ball into the Korean net after a brilliant move to put Hong Jung-ho out of position.
However, Korea rallied back with less than 15 minutes left in the match. Yoon Bitgaram‘s exquisite through-ball from the top of the box released Seo Jung-jin on the right channel to play the ground-ball cross to Park Ju-young who tapped the ball in comfortably.
Koreans equalized in the 88th minute as the substitute Ji Dong-won‘s header following Seo’s diagonal cross found the net. Ji went on to score again just a minute later when he again headed home Yoon Suk-young‘s cross.
Failing to win the Gold Medal for six straight competitions still comes as a massive disappointment for the Koreans who yet again missed out on the opportunity to earn their exemptions from the two-year military obligation, but the win against Iran nonetheless was an emotional one for Hong Myung-bo‘s men.
21 year-old captain Koo’s post-match comment just about explained how much this win meant to the team.
“I spoke to my teammates before the match,” said Koo. “The fans in the stands didn’t just come to see us win. They were there to see us doing the best of our abilities to represent our country.”
“Our football today was played by the best players who were coached by the best coach.”
South Korea 4-3 Iran (2010 Asian Games Bronze Medal Match, November 25th 2010)
(5′ Gholamreza Rezaei, 45′ Hamidreza Aliasgari, 47′ Koo Ja-cheol, 49′ Karim Ansarifard, ’88 Ji Dong-won, ’89 Ji Dong-won.)
Kim Seung-gyu – Shin Kwang-hoon, Yoon Suk-young, Hong Jung-ho, Kim Young-kwon – Koo Ja-cheol, Kim Jung-woo (46′ Yoon Bit-garam), Kim Bo-kyung – Cho Young-cheol (61′ Seo Jung-jin), Hong Chul (33′ Ji Dong-won), Park Ju-young.
Osgouei Rahmati, Seyed Hosseini, Hamidreza Aliasgari, Ehsan Hajisafi, Gholamreza Rezaei, Karim Ansarifard (57′ Seyediman Moosavi), Mohsen Mosalman, Ali Marzban (64′ Amir Sharafi), Arash Afshin (74′ Masoud Ebrahimzadeh), Sina Ashoori Mehrenjani, Rasoul Kar.