Saturday, August 11, 2012

Samurai Blue Loses Bronze, South Korea Greater Prize

Cardiff Wales was the stage set for the Bronze Medal match of Men's Football that would feature Asia's fiercest football rivalry Japan versus South Korea. Fresh off their 1-3 semifinal defeat to Mexico, the Samurai Blue 23's hoped to join with Nadeshiko Japan to walk away with a medal but as with last years Women's World Cup motivation may have played a major factor. You see at the beginning of the Olympic Tournament the South Korean Government had declared that any South Korean player who won a medal would be exempted from Military Service that all men in the R.O.C. have to do before age 29. This is done largely because they live under constant threat of war from their antagonistic brothers to the north who also happen to have a nuclear armed 4th largest army in the world. Beating Japan would be a source of national pride alone but having to interrupt your football career on the account of the hermit kingdom to the north was more than enough incentive to persevere to final victory. And who could blame them? Anyway, going back to the rivalry that has it's roots to the colonial occupation by Japan would lead to heavily contested match. But it was not in Japan's U-23's stars. Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young put one in at the 38th minute and kept the pressure on until Koo Ja-Cheol sealed Japan's fate in the 56th and denied Japan from there out. With the Bronze etched with South Korea's victory, Japan had made a good run that had taken them farther than most of the world Football powerhouses of Europe. They have nothing to be ashamed of. As for South Korea, I am not sure what was the bigger prize. Beating Japan? Winning the Bronze Medal? Or being exempt from military service? Probably a little bit of all three rolled into one. So on that note we at American Mishima would like to thank the Samurai Blue U-23 team for a job well done. Perhaps next time. And for the winners, American Mishima would like to congratulate the South Korean Team on their triple victory. South Korea is now the first Asian team to take a medal since the 1960's in the sport and it is well deserved. Congratulations South Korea!

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