It was nearly 1 AM in the morning,… but football fans and reporters were waiting in line at Incheon International Airport to greet the squad's arrival.
It was a welcome return from Tuesday evening's peculiar match against North Korea,… where the Taeguk Warriors had to play in an empty Kim Il-sung Stadium with no cameras capturing the action live.
Indeed, a member of the South Korean delegation that traveled with the squad said the whole trip was a series of unpleasant surprises.
"We couldn't communicate with people back home. There was no internet connection whatsoever. We were blocked in our hotel so no one was able to move freely. The explanation was that they need to follow their own regulations. When we kept asking about it, everyone acted busy to avoid us."
The team also had to rough it out on the pitch as the North Koreans played very aggressively.
"It's a shame we couldn't win,… but to be honest, I think we should be happy no one got injured due to the extremely violent way they were playing. We could even hear some of the North Korean players cursing."
South Korea's Head Coach Paulo Bento also mentioned that the match officials had to stop the game regularly due to the sheer amount of fouls committed by the North Koreans.
He said that, while they are disappointed not to win, he's pleased his players coped with such a difficult situation.
The South Korean team say they have brought a recorded copy of the game back with them.
While South Korea's KBS had planned to show the match on Thursday, providing the video quality is good enough and the full match is included on the DVD, they have decided in the end not to air the game.
"The much anticipated match between the two Koreas ended with neither side scoring, but to decide who will get the ticket to Qatar in 2022, the two need to meet again, only this time will be at a fully packed stadium in South Korea next June and aired live to the world. Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News Incheon."