25 Apr

Klinsmann Wins on Penalties Against Saudi Arabia... Advance to the Quarterfinals of the Asian Cup

Cho Gyu-seong scores a dramatic equalizer in the second half of extra time to make it 1-1... Cho Hyun-woo advances to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup for the 8th consecutive time with a penalty shootout performance... Next opponent is Australia

Klinsmann, who is attempting to win the Asian Cup for the first time in 64 years, defeated Middle Eastern powerhouse Saudi Arabia in a penalty shootout and advanced to the quarterfinals.

The Korean national soccer team, led by Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, won 1-1 against Saudi Arabia in 120 minutes until overtime in the round of 16 of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup held at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on the 31st (Korean time).

After failing to decide, they won 4-2 in the penalty shootout thanks to Cho Hyun-woo (Ulsan)'s save, securing a ticket to the quarterfinals.

Klinsmann, who had been criticized by public opinion after winning 1 win and 2 draws in the group stage and advancing to the round of 16 with a record of 2nd place in the group, laid the foundation for a turnaround by showing a long-awaited and dramatic performance against a strong team.

Korea will compete with Australia, who defeated Indonesia 4-0 in the match held on the 28th, to advance to the semifinals at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah at 0:30 on the 3rd of next month.

With this victory, Korea advanced to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup for the eighth time in a row since the 1996 United Arab Emirates (UAE) tournament.

Korea, which won the first tournament in 1956 and the second tournament in 1960, but has never won since, is attempting to regain the top spot in the Asian Cup for the first time in 64 years.

Klinsmann continued his undefeated streak in A matches, which had continued since the evaluation match against El Salvador in June last year, for 12 games (7 wins, 5 draws).

In addition, Coach Klinsmann won by decision in the 'Star Coach Showdown' against Saudi coach Roberto Mancini.

The penalty shoot-out was considered a draw in the official record, and Korea recorded 5 wins, 9 draws, and 5 losses overall against Saudi Arabia.

On this day, Coach Klinsmann came out with a three-back starting lineup for the first time since his appointment.

Three central defenders, from the left, Kim Young-kwon (Ulsan), Kim Min-jae (Munich), and Jeong Seung-hyeon (Ulsan), formed the last line, with Seol Young-woo (Ulsan) in left defense and Kim Tae-hwan (Jeonbuk) in right defense.

The midfield was led by Hwang In-beom (Zvezda) and Lee Jae-seong (Mainz), and Son Heung-min (Tottenham) led by Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart) on the left and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) on the right made up the top three.

Jo Hyun-woo wore the goalkeeper gloves.

Saudi Arabia also used a three-back as they had done in the group stage, and both teams played cautiously and fought in the midfield.

The game, which had been somewhat boring for both teams with the first shot coming only in the 13th minute of the first half, began to heat up in the mid to late half of the first half as Son Heung-min (Tottenham) created several threatening scenes by penetrating into the back space.

In the 26th minute of the first half, when Kim Tae-hwan passed a long pass, Son Heung-min fired a right-footed shot with only one defense in front, but the shot was blocked by the goalkeeper's save.

Saudi Arabia also did not sit still.

Korea was faced with a heartbreaking situation after a Saudi set piece in the 41st minute of the first half.

In a corner kick situation, headers from Al-Shahri and Ali Razami hit the goal post one after another.

Then, when Salim Aldausari attempted a third header aimed at the left side of the goal, Minjae Kim cleared it with his head before the ball crossed the goal line.

After an anxious first half, Korea ended up conceding a goal in just one minute of the second half.

After receiving Aldausari's penetration pass, Abdullah Radif scored with a left-footed ground ball shot from the left side of the goal area.

As the losing streak continued, Coach Klinsmann brought in Jung Woo-young and Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) in the 9th minute of the second half, and in the 19th minute of the second half, he replaced Jeong Seung-hyun and Lee Jae-seong and brought in Park Yong-woo (Al Ain) and Cho Gyu-seong (Midtjylland).

With Jeong Seung-hyun missing, Korea's defensive line returned to the familiar back four.

Korea attacked the Saudi camp at the last minute, but the expected goal was not achieved.

In the 40th minute of the second half, Hwang In-beom's non-stop shot following Hwang Hee-chan's cutback, Son Heung-min's left-footed shot in the ensuing situation, and Seol Young-woo's header following Lee Kang-in's cross were all blocked by the opposing defense.

With 10 minutes of extra time given, Cho Gyu-sung's header following Lee Kang-in's cross in the 48th minute of the second half hit the crossbar.

Korea, who continued to pound, eventually took the game to overtime with Cho Gyu-sung's dramatic header in the 54th minute of the second half.

Cho Gyu-seong received a header pass from Seol Young-woo from the left with his head in front of the goal, opening the Saudi goal.

It was the first goal of the tournament for Cho Gyu-seong, who started all three group stage games but ended up scoring no goals due to his worst goal-making ability.

Klinsmann reorganized the midfield by replacing Hwang In-beom in the 14th minute of extra time with Hong Hyun-seok (Gent), and the game was one-sided from the second half.

In the 1st minute of the second half of extra time, the opposing goalkeeper had a decisive opportunity to score when the goalkeeper left the goal, but he turned the ball around and saved his shot, which ended in vain.

In the 9th minute of the second half of extra time, Lee Kang-in's left-footed shot from Hwang Hee-chan's cutback was blocked by the goalkeeper.

In the 12th minute of the second half of extra time, Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk) was substituted for Kim Min-jae as the final substitute.

Even in overtime, a winner was not determined, and eventually a penalty shootout took place.

Cho Hyun-woo blocked shots from Saudi Arabia's third kicker, Sami Al-Nazui, and fourth kicker, Abdurrahman Gharib, to give Korea a ticket to the quarterfinals.

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