“That was the most exciting game I’ve ever seen from Team Korea.” (Lee Jin-hoon, 23, Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province)
While the national football team from South Korea suffered a bitter loss by 2-3 with Ghana on Monday, it certainly won the heart of many of the football fans among Generation MZ as many enjoyed the sheer excitement of the game.
Notably, Korea’s younger football fans welcomed their team’s increasingly aggressive style. Pressuring the African rivals with overwhelming ball possession at 53% (against Ghana at 32%), Korea made 21 attempts at the goal (Ghana made 8). “It was especially touching that the players made an all-out effort to find one more goal,” said a football fan named Lee, a Tottenham Hotspur supporter.
“The genuine efforts they made in the last minutes of the game clearly showed how determined they were for a win, and I could relate to their spirit stronger than ever,” said Jang Ye-won, a 21-year-old fan of the Suwon Samsung Bluewings from Uiwang, Gyeonggi Province. “I go to a football academy, and I felt the urge to go out and practice more when I watched the players doing their best to the last minute last night,” said Choi Joon-hyeok, a 10-year-old football fan and an aspiring athlete.
Many of the younger football fans from South Korea expressed a particularly keen interest in Lee Kang-in, a 21-year-old rising star from Mallorca FC. “When Lee was going for the corner kick in the last minutes, I was very surprised to see him encouraging the audience to cheer back. I found it very impressive as he is the youngest player of his team doing a captain’s job,” said Lee Jin-seon, a 22-year-old would-be sports reporter.
The MZ football fans expressed their expectation about the third game against Portugal. “A miracle would certainly be welcomed, but I hope the players will simply do their best to the very last minute of the game regardless of the results,” said the female fan of the Bluewings.