INCHEON: Sport’s singular ability to cut across all the divisions of world society was again in evidence as hosts South Korea beat North Korea 1-0 with virtually the last kick of extra time to win the Asian Games football final.
The countries remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
Defender Rim Chang Woo struck the goal which handed South Korea their fourth Asian Games title but a first since 1986 in front of a crowd of 47,000 rain-soaked fans.
As a reward, South Korea’s players will be excused two years of mandatory military service after a game in which they were lucky in the 75th minute when the North’s Pak Kwang Ryong headed against the bar.
The winning goal came from a corner. The effort from Lee Yong Jae appeared to have crossed the line before Rim made sure with a fierce volley after the ball dropped to him.
North Korea coach Yun Jong Su protested furiously with the officials as his players collapsed in tears at the final whistle.