South Korea's goalkeeper Bumyoung Lee (18) celebrates defeating Britain on penalty kicks 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)
Korea may be the underdog in their match against Brazil, but no one should underestimate the potential of the Asians. They have played with heart throughout this tournament and are at the semi-finals due to a combination of strong defense and timely offense. Here are the reasons why they can beat Brazil.
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Less Pressure, More Confidence
Anyone looking at this matchup will look at a soccer juggernaut and one who has not quite reached that status. But how many people know that Brazil has never won a gold medal at the Olympic Games? Everyone is expecting this squad of Brazilians to win the gold in anticipation for a huge World Cup run in 2014.
Which means that as the stakes rise, the pressure mounts for the Samba Kings. Meanwhile Korea can sit back and relax knowing that no one will fault them for losing, or criticize them, or even question their reputation and standing in the soccer world.
The pressure seemed too much in the quarter finals when Brazil looked lousy against a heavy underdog in Honduras. Korea is more skilled and capable of giving the Selecao more problems than their Central American comrades.
Throw in the fact that Korea capitalized on the nerves of the home squad in a match in which an entire nation was against them and you have a team built for success.
Goalkeeping is usually never listed as a major advantage from one squad to another but Korea's keepers have been the best in this tournament when called upon. Through four games they have only allowed two goals and one of them was on a penalty shot. Goalkeeping kept them from losing the quarter-final as they stopped not one, but two penalty shots in their victory over Great Britain. One was stopped during the shootout while the key save came against a penalty shot in the final minutes of the first half.
Like Brazil they have an injured keeper, but have proven to be big in important moments. Meanwhile Gabriel, Brazil's keeper has been inconsistent at best through the tournament after the injury to Rafael. Korea has a huge edge in goal and on...
Most would complain about the weakness on the back end of the Asians, but they have solid and steady through four matches with the cataclysmic implosion not materializing to this point. Brazil's squad has been the complete opposite. Expected to possess a complete game in all the zones, they have displayed offensive virtuosity but virtually no strong defense for aggressive counters and poor coverage in their zone. Korea can win if they exploit the weak defense of the Samba Kings.
Disagree? See why Brazil will win HERE.