South Korea's Jang Hyun-soo (20) celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Japan during their men's quarter-final soccer match at the Munhak Stadium during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 28, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
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Few football fixtures are painted with as much political intrigue as a clash between North and South Korea, and Thursday's Asian Games final promises to stoke passions on both sides of the world's most heavily militarized border.A 2008 World Cup qualifier had to be moved from North Korea to China after the North refused to fly the flag or play the anthem of the South before kickoff.Football is far better funded in the South, its players far better paid and so defeat on home soil to North Korea, one of the world's poorest countries and the South's ideological opposite, would be hard to stomach.Victory for South Korea would also release their players from two years of mandatory military service.South Korea's coach Lee Kwang-jong said his players were well aware of the importance of Thursday's game.
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