Twitter in South Korea was inundated on Sunday with soccer fans ruefully commenting on the bygone glory of the 2002 World Cup, when the Korean national squad proudly made it to the semifinals.
In this year’s Russia World Cup, Korea has already lost two games – one against Sweden and one against Mexico, with the outcome of its next game against Germany deciding if it will go to the next round.
“Who in their right mind blows a vuvuzela at 2 a.m. for a goal? It’s not the 2002,” wrote a Twitter user, after Tottenham Hot Spur attacker Son Heung-min managed to score a goal just before the game ended, closing the scoreboard at 2-1 and cutting the deficit to 1.
“Son is born in the wrong generation. Imagine if he played in the 2002 game,” wrote another fan.
Son Heung-min at the game against Mexico (Yonhap)
Son was later seen in the locker room bawling in regret, with President Moon Jae-in consoling him. Moon visited the stadium to support the national team on the sidelines of his state visit to Russia for a talk with President Vladimir Putin on North Korea’s denuclearization and economic cooperation.
Another Twitter user wrote, “It would have been a true Avengers team if the players Ki Sung-yueng, Son Heung-min and Lee Seung-woo were joined by Ahn Jung-hwan, Lee Young-pyo, Park Ji-sung, the ex-national players who were commentators for the game. And Cha Du-ri, retired player who was watching as a spectator, Lee Chun-soo, who is babysitting at home, and Park Chu-young who could well score a goal 1 against 4.”
A rather pessimist Twitter user wrote, “2002 was a miracle. Korea will still be talking about 2002 at the 3018 World Cup.”
“Where men have failed, women will have to make up,” wrote another user, referring to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, set to take place in France.
The women’s team for Korea won every game it played in the preliminaries, allowing only one goal to North Korea. This is the third time for the women’s Korea team to play in the World Cup. The first was in 2003 in US and the second in 2015 in Canada.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)