|2012 London OlympicⓒFIFA/GettyImages
Korea Republic failed to reach the final of the Olympic football tournament as they lost 3-0 in the semi-final against Brazil in Manchester. The South Koreans will travel back to Cardiff to face neighbours Japan in the Bronze medal match on Friday.
The Taeguk Warriors could not convert a handful of chances in the early stage of the game and had to pay for their profligacy, with the Brazilians taking the lead through Romulo before a second-half brace from Leandro put the result beyond doubt.
Coach Hong Myung-Bo made three changes to the side that edged Great Britain in the quarter-finals, with goalkeeper Lee Bum-Young and right-back Oh Jae-Suk replacing injured Jung Sung-Ryong and Kim Chang-Soo respectively, and forward Kim Hyun-Sung given his first start in place of first-choice striker Park Chu-Young.
It was the South Korean that took control of the game, with a series of efforts from Nam Tae-Hee, Ji Dong-Won and Kim Hyun-Sung threatening the Brazilian goal on 12 minutes. Ji then had a glorious opportunity to put his side ahead two minutes later, but could not connect with a headed pass from Kim.
At the opposite end, Marcelo broke free on the left flank to set Leandro Damiao free on goal but the Internacional marksman was adjudged to be in an offside position. Moments later, Lee Bum-Young cleared off his line to block the towering forward and Sandro’s delicate lob off the rebound was denied by Kim Young-Kwon.
But the Brazilians took the lead against the run of play. Oscar sent a perfect through ball into the path of Romulo on the right, who fired a low shot past an outstretched leg of Lee Bum-Young.
The Taeguk Warriors were desperate to claw their way back into the game after the interval, although it was the Brazilians who scored again 12 minutes into the second half. Marcelo exchanged a one-two with Neymar, and although the Real Madrid full-back miscued his effort, Leandro Damiao was on hand to drive home the second for Selecao. It took only seven minutes for him to add another, with an opportunistic strike following a combined effort from Neymar and Oscar inside the area.
Jung Woo-Young and then Park Chu-Young came off the bench to replace Koo Ja-Cheol and Kim Hyun-Sung respectively, but the Koreans were unable to find any breakthrough against a stubborn Brazilian defence.
Olympic Football Tournament London 2012, semi-finals
Korea Repubilc 0-3 Brazil
7 August 2012, Old Trafford, Manchester
Scorers: Romulo 38’, Leandro Damiao 57’, 64’
Cautions: Ji Dong-Won 60’
Korea Republic (4-4-2)
Lee Bum-Young; Yun Suk-Young, Kim Young-Kwon, Hwang Seok-Ho, Oh Jae-Suk; Nam Tae-Hee, Ki Sung-Yueng, Koo Ja-Cheol (c, Jung Woo-Young 58’), Kim Bo-Kyung; Ji Dong-Won (Baek Sung-Dong 76’), Kim Hyun-Sung (Park Chu-Young 70’) / Coach: Hong Myung-Bo
Gabriel; Rafael, Thiago Silva (c), Juan Jejus (Bruno Uvini 82’), Marcelo (Hulk 75’); Romulo, Oscar, Sandro; Alex Sandro, Leandro Damiao (Alexandre Pato 77’), Neymar / Coach: Mano Menezes