Britain's Daniel Sturridge (R) reacts after he had the fifth penalty kick blocked as South Korea's keeper Bumyoung Lee celebrates his save in their men's quarter final soccer match at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff August 4, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Francois Lenoir )
An entire nation was disappointed as Korea Republic took Great Britain to the limit in a 1-1 penalty shootout win.
The Koreans played an impressive match the entire evening against a British squad that looked nervous on the biggest possible stage. South Korea took the play to Great Britain and generated a plethora of chances in the early going.
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They would be rewarded in the 28th minute when Ji Dongwon rifled a shot pass British keeper Jack Butland who saw the ball go right through his hands. The 1-0 lead seemed like it would deflate the home team who had looked languid to initiate the match.
But Britain would equalize just seven minutes later when they were awarded a penalty shot. Aaron Ramsey scored on the shot into the left hand corner and tied up the match. He would get another opportunity moments later when Sturridge was fouled in the box at the 38 minute mark. This time Ramsey shot to the right post but keeper Jung Sungryong saw through his bluff and kept the score even.
The second half of the game saw both teams playing a cautious match with limited opportunities. Both sections of extra time would be the same with occasional scoring chances materializing.
Then came the fated penalty kicks which were pushed to the limit. Ramsey and Koo Jacheol traded goals and then Cleverley, Baek Sungdong, Dawson, Hwang Seokho, Giggs, and Park Jongwoo each converted to push the shootout to the final two men. Sturridge ran in from the right side but hesitated momentarily. Keeper Bumyong Lee, who subbed an injured Jung, caught Sturridge glancing to the right post and launched himself immediately to stop the ball. On replays it seemed that he might have moved forward a bit early, but since the referees missed it, the save was deemed legal. On the final shot Ki Sungyueng converted a blast to give Korea the fourth semi-final berth.
Korea looked impressive in the match but still needs to find a way to score as they enter the semi-finals as the lowest scoring of the four squads. They have however only allowed two goals thus far and one was on a penalty shot. That figure ties them with Mexico for the second best defense of the four remaining teams. Their defensive prowess will be stretched against a Brazilian squad that has scored three goals in each of their four matches.