|2012 London OlympicⓒFIFA/GettyImages
Korea Republic reached the semi-finals of the Olympic football tournament for the first time by defeating hosts Great Britain 5-4 in a dramatic penalty shootout at Millennium Stadium.
Substitute goalkeeper Lee Bum-Young was the hero of the night blocking the hosts’ fifth spot-kick from Daniel Sturridge, before Ki Sung-Yueng converted the decider to seal the famous victory. Ji Dong-Won had put the South Korean ahead just before the half hour, which was then cancelled out by a penalty from Aaron Ramsey.
The Taeguk Warriors now head for Old Trafford, Manchester to take on Brazil in the last four on Tuesday.
Ji on for Kim on the left
Coach Hong Myung-Bo made two changes from the side that drew with Gabon, with Nam Tae-Hee returning to the starting XI and Ji making his first start in place of Kim Bo-Kyung.
Despite taking control of the game from the outset, the Koreans were dealt an early blow as right-back Kim Chang-Soo broke his right arm and was subsequently replaced by Oh Jae-Suk after just six minutes.
But the Taeguk Warriors piled the pressure on the British defence, as Ji tested Jack Butland with a rasping drive before Park Jong-Woo tried his luck from distance. Park then sent an in-swinging free-kick from the right that Park Chu-Young headed just over the crossbar.
The deadlock was finally broken on 29 minutes, when Ki on the left turned a long ball from Oh into the path of Ji, who fired a powerful effort from 20 yards past Butland.
However, the lead was shot-lived as Oh handled a point-blank shot from Ryan Bertrand six minutes later. Ramsey converted the resulting penalty past Jung Sung-Ryong but the Korea Republic custodian did well to save another spot-kick from Ramsey, after Hwang Seok-Ho had been adjudged to obstruct the path of an onrushing Sturridge.
But Jung was forced to leave the pitch after a mid-air collision with Micah Richards just before the hour mark. Undeterred by the setback, the Taeguk Warriors picked up where they had left off before the break. Ji thought he had put his side ahead once again when he latched on to a through ball from Koo Ja-Cheol, but the Sunderland marksman had been caught offside.
Ji also had a glorious opportunity to take the lead early in extra time, when he headed a loose ball just wide after Koo’s initial effort from the right side of the area had been parried by Butland only into the far post.
Park Chu-Young and substitute Baek Sung-Dong came close to scoring in the second half of extra time but neither of them could convert their chances as the shootout loomed large.
Olympic Football Tournament London 2012, quarter-finals
Great Britain 1-1 Korea Republic, a.e.t. (1-1) 4-5 PSO
4 August 2012, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Scorers: Ramsey 36’ (pen); Ji Dong-Won 29’
Cautions: Sturridge 34’, Allen 71’; Ki Sung-Yueng 31’, Kim Young-Kwon 34’, Oh Jae-Suk 34’, Lee Bum-Young 120’
Great Britain (4-3-3)
Butland; Taylor, Richards (Dawson 59’), Caulker, Bertrand; Ramsey, Allen, Cleverley; Bellamy (c, Giggs 84’), Sturridge, Sinclair (Rose 105’+1); / Coach: Stuart Pearce
Korea Republic (4-2-3-1)
Jung Sung-Ryong (Lee Bum-Young 61’); Yun Suk-Young, Kim Young-Kwon, Hwang Seok-Ho, Kim Chang-Soo (Oh Jae-Suk 6’); Ki Sung-Yueng, Park Jong-Woo; Ji Dong-Won (Baek Sung-Dong 103’), Koo Ja-Cheol (c), Nam Tae-Hee; Park Chu-Young / Coach: Hong Myung-Bo