Iran and China clash for Asian Games basketball gold

Arnold Nichols
September 3, 2018

Such was Korea's control on the first half, that Vietnam did not get a shot at goal to trouble one of Korea's 2018 World Cup stars in goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo.

Nguyen beat Malaysian Mohd Khaizul Yaacob 5-0 in the class J 90-95kg final, while Tran beat Mohd Fauzi Khalid in the class F 70-75kg final. Son played in the semifinal game against Vietnam.

The match gives Park a reunion with former K League coaching counterpart Kim Hak-bom, now leading South Korea's U-23s. "So I don't want to say anything to the players". "He is such a good tactician - he's known as 'The (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.

Defeat in the final, and Son could be joining the list of South Korean nationals to have served in the military, although some of his fellow professionals have managed to avoid such a fate.

Failure to win a gold medal in Indonesia will likely mean the 26-year-old Son will have to return home within the next two years to perform his national duty. Iran will now have to face China in the final, for their first ever Asian Games gold.

At the AFC U23 Championship held in China in January, Vietnam lost to South Korea 2-1 in the group stages.

In terms of the medal standings, South Korea is still in third place behind Japan, . and is unlikely to achieve its original target of 65 gold medals with less than five days of the Asian Games remaining.

Qatar, who captured their maiden AVC Cup in Chinese Taipei early this month, had played a tough five-set match against Japan in the quarter-finals coming into yesterday's game. "As everyone knows, I love my country very much", said Park. "I emphasize that it's not about me, but it's about us".

All that stands between South Korea and the gold medal is a win over fierce rivals Japan and while Son was reluctant to talk too much about the prospect of winning a military exemption he was in no doubt as to the importance of rounding out the tournament with the victory.

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