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Spurs’ Son happy South Korea “unscathed” in North Korea qualifier

North Korea v South Korea - FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier 2nd Round Group H

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA - OCTOBER 14: (SOUTH KOREA OUT), (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this photo provided by Korea Football Association, Son Heung-min (white) of South Korea and Jong Il-Gwan (red) of North Korea line up during the FIFA World Cup Asian 2nd Qualifier Group H North Korea v South Korea at the Kim Il-sung Stadium on October 14, 2019 in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Photo by Korea Football Association via Getty Images)

Korea Football Association via G

As expected, North Korea did not broadcast its World Cup second round qualifier against South Korea this week, making for an old school “wait and see” for fans back home in South Korea.

The match ended 0-0 in front of no fans in Pyongyang, with just police in the stands as Heung-min Son and South Korea kept their group lead over the North Koreans on goal differential.

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Son, the Tottenham Hotspur star, says it was an odd experience. From The Korea Herald:

“The opponents were pretty physical, and we exchanged some terse words,” Son told reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. “It might have been their strategy. They played it rough, and they took exception to our own physical play. .... Rather than focusing on the match, we started worrying about trying not to get hurt. It means a lot to have come out unscathed from a match like this.”

The few videos released by journalists show an eerie scene, and South Korea’s status as AFC powers probably played in North Korea’s lack of desire to broadcast a potential home loss. But you have to think that also lived in the home players heads a bit, too.

Follow @NicholasMendola