Son avoids military service as Korea win gold at Asian Games

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Son Heung-min has won gold with South Korea at the Asian Games, making the Tottenham winger exempt from military service.

South Korea made beat Japan 2-1 in the final on Saturday thanks to extra-time goals from Lee Seung-woo and Hwang Hee-chan to finish first place for the first time since 1986.

The Tottenham forward was apologetic for missing the start of the Premier League action to feature in the Under-23 tournament in Indonesia, but the club gave him permission to go knowing a gold medal would seal his release from mandatory service for his country.

Athletes who win gold at the Asian Games - silver or bronze is not enough - are exempt from the service, which lasts at least 21 months, meaning it was a narrow escape for captain Son and his team-mates.

Round by round the pressure has increased for Son and his team-mates and it showed in the final as they took their time to break down Japan.

South Korea dominated the opening half and saw Hwang Ui-jo waste a glorious chance to break the deadlock, and their profligacy continued after the restart.

Son was guilty of failing to take clear-cut chances, and when he turned provider Ui-jo, the tournament's top scorer, was again unable to convert.

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An extra 30 minutes was needed to separate the two sides and fittingly the Spurs star was at the heart of securing South Korea's triumph.

The 26-year-old embarked on a mazy dribble three minutes into extra time before a heavy touch ran to Seung Woo-lee, the winger lashing home from inside the box.

Another Son delivery helped wrap things up, Hwang Hee-chan heading home to secure the gold medal - despite Ayase Ueda's late consolation - and all-important exemption from national service.