HEUNG-MIN SON takes on Vietnam tomorrow knowing he is two games from avoiding 21 months of South Korean military service.
The South Korean government rewards Asian Games gold medals and Olympic medals of any kind with an exemption from the a stint in their military.
That normally includes five weeks of basic training to cover drills and the essentials of combat.
The BBC report that previous recruits claim to have spent time guarding freezing outposts on remote mountains overlooking North Korea and their nights in huge dormitories of up to 40 beds.
Son can swerve all of that by beating Vietnam in Cibinong, Indonesia, and then the winner of Japan’s semi-final against the UAE.
Son is one of three players over the age of 23 that each nation could name in their football squads for the tournament.
He missed South Korea’s opener and went on as a replacement in a surprising group-stage loss to Malaysia.
But the Spurs forward scored in the deciding group game to ensure his team progressed to the knockout stages.
Their title defence was touch and go on Monday, with South Korea trailing 3-2 against Uzbekistan with 15 left of their quarter-final remaining.
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Vietnam reached the last-four of the Asian Games for the first time in their history with a win over.
Thousands of their fans then poured onto the streets in their homeland amid chaotic scenes.
Footage showed supporters on mopeds letting off flares, waving flags and honking horns in Haiphong, in the north-east of the country, following their team’s 1-0 extra-time win.