Korea Advances to Men's Football Quarterfinals at Tokyo Olympics

  • By Lee Tae-dong

    July 29, 2021 10:28

    Korea has advanced to the quarterfinals of the men's football competition for the third consecutive Olympics.

    The U-23 team led by manager Kim Hak-bum beat Honduras 6-0 in the final match of the group stage at Nissan Stadium Yokohama at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Wednesday.

    Korea topped its group with six points from two wins and one loss and a goal difference of eight. It lost to New Zealand 1-0 in the opening match and defeated Romania 4-0 in the second.

    Lee Dong-jun earned a penalty in the 11th minute, and wildcard striker Hwang Ui-jo, who was scoreless in the previous two matches, converted it to give Korea a 1-0 lead.

    Honduras made a series of mistakes under pressure because it needed to win the match to advance to the next round. A Honduran defender took down Jeong Tae-wook in the box when Korea was taking a corner in the 17th minute to concede another penalty.

    Hwang Ui-jo (right) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in a match against Honduras at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Wednesday. /Yonhap

    Won Du-jae predicted the movement of Honduras' goalkeeper and kicked the ball into the center of the net to double the lead. In the 39th minute, a Honduran defender was sent off for a second yellow card, giving Korea a one-man advantage. Hwang scored his second goal of the match in first-half injury time.

    Korea scored three more goals in the second half. Hwang converted yet another penalty in the 52nd minute for a hat trick. It was the first time that Korea scored three penalties in a FIFA-sponsored match. Kim Jin-ya and Lee Kang-in added goals in the 64th and 82nd minutes to make it 6-0.

    After the match, manager Kim warned his players not to get ahead of themselves, saying, "This is only a beginning. We will stick to our game plans no matter who we face."

    Korea won bronze in London in 2012, and hopes to surpass that achievement in Tokyo. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, it lost to Honduras in a quarterfinal.

    Korea will face Mexico in a quarterfinal in Yokohama on Saturday.

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