Saturday, June 25, yesterday, was supposed to be a memorable day. I anticipated a bright victory for South Korea and the United States, but that did not happen. It would have been quite the spectacle if South Korea and United States met for a tete-a-tete in the quarter-finals. Both teams put in a positive, mighty effort up to the final whistle.
First, the South Korea game was exhilarating, partly because the South Koreans were the underdogs compared to the Uruguayans, at least based on their past plays. Barely 10 minutes into the game, Suarez approached with a sneak attack for an early goal, allowing Uruguay to be ahead 1-0. I felt this huge sinking pang in my chest,
and yet, I held onto hope, as the Taeguk Warriors had another whole game to tie it up and score to win. Uruguay’s obstinate defense was a major roadblock, bouncing out each potential chance at a goal. And then… by the 67th minute, thanks to Lee Chung Yong’s surprise header, South Korea tied it up to 1-1. I was bounding out of my seat, seconds leading up to the beautiful goal. I breathed a sigh of relief, as the chance opened up for Korea to potentially take the win. Gears switched, as Uruguay changed to an aggressive offense play and Suarez attempted multiple times to bang in another goal. Suarez eventually scored his second goal of the day, leading to a 2-1 victory for Uruguay. As Uruguay’s defense took action again, South Korea played to the bare bone to break the solid wall and score goals. Several close shots were unfortunately missed, the quarter-finals so close within range.
South Korea played with pride, bravery, and confidence this year in South Africa. They have proven themselves on the world stage that they are skillful, competitive, determined, and persevering. South Korea may have made an early, but grand departure, too early to give them a challenge, but the team has certainly demonstrated great enthusiasm, cohesion, and spirit. They carried their defeat with proud hearts and a vision for their next journey towards victory. I believe they will continue to work hard and prepare for the exciting 2014 World Cup game in Brazil. I’ll be rooting for them again! *Fighting* Go Red Devils come 2014!