“Korean Zombie” Chung Chan-sung is apparently retired. But there’s another “Korean Zombie” in Qatar.
Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea advanced to the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Qatar Asian Cup with a 2-1 extra-time victory over Australia at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, on Wednesday (June 3).
South Korea were unable to overcome a one-goal deficit after conceding an early goal to Goodwin in the final minute of the first half. Australia’s defense, led by Ryan, was solid and kept the South Korean attack, led by Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in, at bay.
But Korea would not go down without a fight. With just over three minutes left in regulation, Hwang Hee-chan converted a penalty kick from Son Heung-min. Then, in the first half of extra time, Son Heung-min converted a free kick from Hwang Hee-chan’s penalty kick to take down ‘Socceroo’ Australia.
It was a scene we’ve seen before. South Korea was also on the brink of defeat in their last round of 16 match against Saudi Arabia, down 0-1. With less than a minute left in regulation, Cho Kyu-sung’s celestial header equalized the game, sending it to penalty kicks.
South Korea has been scoring late in games this tournament. Their opponents can’t catch them off guard, even when they’re ahead in the first and second halves.
The streak of the ‘Korean Zombies’, who look like they’re about to collapse but don’t, has been terrorizing Asian Cup hosts Qatar. Chung Chan-sung may be retired, but the Taegeuk Warriors’ “Zombie March” is on a precarious path, and now they’re looking toward the final.
The ‘Korean Zombie March’ began against Jordan. Down 1-2 and on the verge of a shock defeat, the Koreans managed to snatch a point with a 2-2 draw thanks to an own goal by Al Arab in late stoppage time.
Against Malaysia, Lee Kang-in scored in the 83rd minute and Son Heung-min converted a penalty in stoppage time. The game ended in a 3-3 draw, but it could have gone either way had it not been for a late attacking surge.
In the aforementioned tournament matches against Saudi Arabia and Australia, goals from Cho Kyu-sung and Hwang Hee-chan extended the game just before the final whistle. Against Australia, Son Heung-min scored a stunning free kick to seal the victory.
South Korea has now scored 11 goals in five matches at the tournament, with a whopping six coming after the 80th minute. The fact that more than half of their goals have come just 토토사이트 before the end of the game shows that they have outplayed their opponents in terms of physicality, concentration, and hustle.
It’s certainly not what we expected. Before the tournament, South Korea was considered one of the strongest favorites alongside Japan. However, they were not at their best throughout the group stage, and the tournament was a “mountain out of a molehill.” But they didn’t go down without a fight. South Korea’s real strength was behind the scenes, not in the limelight.
Yogi Berra’s quote, “It’s not over until it’s over,” could not have been more fitting for South Korea at the Asian Cup. When everyone was looking at it critically and thought it was over, the Taegeuk Warriors on the field gave it their all until the very end and got the result.
In that sense, South Korea is truly a post-winning team. Major tournaments always hold many variables. Along the way, the teams that rise to the top have found solutions in the face of adversity. That’s the case with South Korea. The ‘Korean Zombies’ won’t go down no matter what.