South Korea advance in Asian Cup after Saudi Arabia lose shootout


After a thrilling match that ended 1-1 after extra time at Education City Stadium, South Korea advanced to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup by defeating Saudi Arabia 4-2 in a penalty shootout. This victory allowed South Korea to move to the next round.

After Cho Gue-sung of South Korea scored an equalizer in the second part of extra time to cancel out Abdullah Radif’s opening goal, Jo Hyeon-woo saved penalties from Sami al-Najei and Abdulrahman Ghareeb, allowing South Korea to advance to the next round.

There was no doubt in my mind that I would be able to save some games for my squad. “I am overjoyed that I was able to lead my team to the next round,” Jo said to the reporters.

In order to advance, South Korea was successful in converting all of their penalties; nevertheless, they will only have two days to recover after playing for 120 minutes given that their quarterfinal match against Australia, the champions of 2015, is scheduled to take place on Friday.

In his statement, Jurgen Klinsmann, the coach of South Korea, stated, “That is the reason why I so desperately wanted to win our group.” Some people remarked that I was relieved that I did not come in first place and that I avoided Japan. The group was not ours to win, and we have now paid the price for it.

South Korean players celebrate Saudia Arabia’s loss in the Asian Cup last-16 penalty shootout. Photo Credit: Reuters

On the other hand, this victory has enhanced the team’s spirit. I take great pleasure in coaching this group, and they have a strong desire to do well for their nation. Although we had the intention of winning before penalties, we did not anticipate a shootout.

Due to the positive environment that we have, we will be able to heal. We are looking forward to Australia, who emerged victorious against Indonesia with a score of 4-0. As a result of this victory tonight, we have a great deal of optimism, belief, and energy, all of which will be necessary for us to defeat Australia.

Two headers from a corner kick were blocked by the crossbar, and a third shot that was headed for the top corner was blocked by Jo, the goalie for Saudi Arabia. This was the finest opportunity that Saudi Arabia had during the first half.

Son Heung-min was afforded two opportunities to score at the opposite end of the field, but his feeble efforts were easily saved, and the first half concluded without a goal being scored.


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