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Records of football matches between S. Korea and Japan

Posted September. 01, 2018 07:32,   

Updated September. 01, 2018 07:32


The quarterfinal of the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games football tournament had drawn great expectation as a face-off between the two countries’ star strikers Hwang Sun-hong (South Korea) and Kazuoshi Miura (Japan). In stoppage time given while the two tied 2-2, Hwang dramatically earned a penalty just before the match moved on to the extra time, and scored a goal, making the team to advance to the semifinals. He became the highest scoring player in a single Asian Games with 11 goals.

The 1994 quarterfinal is considered one of the most well-contested matches between South Korea and Japan. Throughout the history of Asian Games, South Korea has beaten Japan in six out of seven matches.

Starting from the 2002 Asian Games held in Busan, football matches have been played in an under-23 (U-23) format.

Before the rule was changed in 2002, football tournaments of the Asian Games were classified as international “A Match,” and South Korea had won five out of six matches against Japan, with the last one being the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games in which South Korea beat Japan 2-0. After the 2002 Games, Taegeuk Warriors defeated Japan 1-0 in the quarterfinal of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. When it comes to the Asian Games, South Korea has not suffered a defeat in matches against Japan for 24 years since 1994, except a single 1-2 loss recorded in the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games.

Yet, if all records including other international U-23 matches are taken into account, South Korea and Japan get even. In 15 matches, South Korea had six wins, four draws, and five losses, while recording two wins and a loss in the latest three games. In the most recent match against Japan, the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship final, South Korea had to suffer a bitter defeat, allowing three goals in the last minute though it had been leading the game 2-0.

South Korea has claimed the Asian Games championship four times while Japan topped the medal table at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and finished second at the 2002 Busan Asian Games.

Jae-Hyeng Kim monami@donga.com