Winning Respect

No matter what mom said, it's never just a game. Football is about ego, respect, national pride. South Korea, for one, has turned the sport into a quest for its very identity, its hopes captured in the cheer that rings through the nation's World Cup stadiums: "Great Republic of Korea." A country often consigned to an afterthought in East Asia is out to prove that it, too, matters. Last week, it did so, by gliding through to the second round with skill and flair. That singular achievement, though, was not just about Korea's arrival as a football force but as a...

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