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Korean communities cheer for Team Korea in Manhattan

Posted December. 05, 2022 07:50,   

Updated December. 05, 2022 07:50


Shouts of glee were heard across Korean communities in the U.S. as Korea’s national football team advanced to the final 16. Global media described Korea’s victory as one of the most overwhelming scenes in 92 years of World Cup history and the World Cup spirit of 2002 returns.

Around 200 fans convened at Greeley Square Park in Manhattan, New York, to watch and root for the Korean national football team playing against Portugal at 9 a.m. on Friday (local time). Large TV screens and cheering equipment were prepared by the Korean American Association of Greater New York and the New York Korea Town Association, who hosted the street cheering. “It is truly moving to see people from different ethnic backgrounds come together in Manhattan to cheer for the World Cup games,” said Charles Yoon, chair of the Korean American Association of Greater New York. “We are proud to play for the round of 16.”

Many Korean and Asian Americans posted Korea’s making of the final 16 on social media. When writer Lee Min-jin of the best-selling novel “Pachinko” posted a photo of the Korean football team celebrating joy, she was responded with many comments such as “I cried while watching the game” and “Son Heung-min is the best.”

Media outlets around the world praised the Korean team’s dramatic turnaround against Korea. “Son Heung min brought back the 2002 World Cup Spirit when Korea made it to the last four. The victory shows Korea’s strong and persistent energy,” said Reuters. BBC Sports posted a parody photo of Son described as Batman.

Japan, which also made it to the final 16 emerging as the No. 1 player from its competitors, also cheered for Korea, looking forward to a match in the final 8. “I hope Korea and Japan will win in the final 16 matches so that we can compete against each other to advance to the best 4,” said Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara in a program on Fuji TV. “Korea-Japan football match” became a top-trending keyword on Japanese Twitter after Korea advanced to the final 16.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com