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Korea watches nation's defeat

PUBLISHED: 11:23 26 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 March 2010

KOREAN pupils at Felixstowe International College are today reflecting on their home side's defeat.

Yesterday afternoon they cheered and screamed their country's football team along in their common room.

KOREAN pupils at Felixstowe International College are today reflecting on their home side's defeat.

Yesterday afternoon they cheered and screamed their country's football team along in their common room.

But although South Korea lost to Germany, the pupils were still pleased with their team's performance

Min-Ji Kim, 17, said: "They have lost but they have done very well until now. I am a little disappointed in them but I give them applause and I wish I was in Korea and cheering them."

She said she was not upset because it was the first time that South Korea had got so far in a world cup tournament.

Twenty-one pupils at the school gathered in the common room at the bustling college on Maybush Road.

The pupils, aged between nine and 17, clapped, screamed and cheered their team along.

Boys and girls in red shirts, bandannas and others staying in uniform as lessons were to re-start after the game, sat on sofas and chairs circling the television.

Their enthusiasm rivalled a crowded pub of England football fans with shrills of 'joa, joa' meaning 'good, good', the Korean's version of 'come on!'

Each time a South Korean player dribbled the ball past the half-way line they shrieked in excitement and hope, but the nervous fingers were to remain entwined until the end of the game.

At one point, where South Korea was given a free kick near the penalty box, the group screamed as the ball was deflected away from the goal. But the screams became louder when a replay showed the girls' favourite player Ahn Jung-hwan. The number 19 midfielder was a heat throb among the girls, with his celebrity status and dark shoulder length hair. Each time they saw the 26-year-old they screamed and gasped with excitement.

Ji Sung, 10, whose favourite player is Lee Yong-pyo, said he was very excited and thought the final score would have been 1-0 in Korea's favour. But he was proved wrong when Germany's Barrack scored the only goal in the 75th minute.

Paul Kim, 15, said he thought South Korea would have made it to the final and lost against Brazil.

Paul, who believes the Koreans are as patriotic as the English when it came to football, said he wished he had been at home in Korea to watch the matches and enjoy the atmosphere.

The majority of the pupils will be going home to Korea next Friday, so they will have missed all the world cup matches staged in their home country and will instead have to watch Sunday's final on English television again.

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