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Korea Republic were held to a goalless draw by Gabon in their final group match in London, but it was enough for them to finish runners-up in Group B. Mexico won the group after edging Switzerland 1-0 and will face Senegal in the quarter-finals, while the South Koreans are to face hosts Great Britain on Saturday.
Coach Hong Myung-Bo made only one change to the side from the opening two group games, bringing Baek Sung-Dong on for Nam Tae-Hee on the right flank.
Koo Ja-Cheol had a glorious chance to put his side ahead on 13 minutes when he received a through ball from Ki Sung-Yueng, but the Korea Republic captain could only drag his shot straight at Didier Ovono. Koo then glanced a header just wide of the right post following an inviting cross from Yun Suk-Young on the left.
Nam came off the bench to replace Park Jong-Woo while Koo moved into a defensive midfield role, as the Taeguk Warriors came out strongly into the second half.
Park Chu-Young and then Baek tried their luck from distance but were unable to break the deadlock, and it was the West Africans that came closer to scoring as Levy Madinda’s effort from 20 yards hit the upright with Jung Sung-Ryong beaten.
Substitutes Ji Dong-Won and Kim Hyun-Sung, introduced after the hour mark, piled up the pressure on the Gabonese defence but to no avail as the match ended scoreless.
Olympic Football Tournament London 2012, Group B
Korea Republic 0-0 Gabon
1 August 2012, Wembley Stadium, London
Cautions: Jung Sung-Ryong 82’; Ndoumbou 61’
Korea Republic (4-2-3-1)
Jung Sung-Ryong; Yun Suk-Young, Kim Young-Kwon, Hwang Seok-Ho, Kim Chang-Soo; Ki Sung-Yueng, Park Jong-Woo (Nam Tae-Hee 46’); Kim Bo-Kyung (Ji Dong-Won 61’), Koo Ja-Cheol (c), Baek Sung-Dong; Park Chu-Young (Kim Hyun-Sung 80’) / Coach: Hong Myung-Bo
Ovono (c); Nzambe, Dinda, Boussoughou, Ndong; Tandjigora (Ndoumbou 10’), Engonga, Obiang; Meye (Nono 76’), Madinda (Mbingui 66’), Aubameyang / Coach: Claude Mbourounot