(LEAD) Nat’l football team dedicates victory to fallen star Yoo Sang-chul

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By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) — The South Korean men’s national football team paid respect to the late star Yoo Sang-chul before a World Cup qualifying match against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, and later dedicated their 5-0 victory to the 2002 World Cup hero.

Yoo died of cancer on Monday at age 49. The former midfielder was instrumental in South Korea’s stunning march to the semifinals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and was named to the All-Star Team after the tournament. He appeared in 128 international matches.

Before South Korea’s kickoff against Sri Lanka in the second round of the Asian qualifying for the 2022 World Cup at Goyang Stadium in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, a tribute video was played on the main scoreboard. Players on both teams and fans in the stands observed a moment of silence.

South Korean players wore black armbands, and their coaches put black ribbons on their shirts.

In a nod to Yoo’s national team number, six, fans were asked to refrain from cheering for the first six minutes of the match.

In one corner of the stadium, fans hung banners with messages in tribute to the late great.

After opening the scoring for South Korea in the 14th minute, forward Kim Shin-wook and the rest of the starters gathered in the midfield and held up a national team jersey bearing Yoo’s name and his signature No. 6 on the back.

South Korea went on to win 5-0, and head coach Paulo Bento said afterward his players competed extra hard for the deceased star.

“We wanted to dedicate this match to Yoo Sang-chul and help send him to a good place,” Bento said. “It was important for our players to battle hard and play like professionals until the very end.”




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