Korean football team advances to quarterfinals as top of group for first time in Olympic history

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Korean football team advances to quarterfinals as top of group for first time in Olympic history

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Kwon Chang-hoon of Korea dribbles the ball during a preliminary match against Mexico. Kwon scored a game winning goal to life Korea 1-0 over Mexico. [NEWSIS]

For the first time Korea’s Olympic history, its football team will advance to the quarterfinals as the top of its group.

During the final match in the preliminaries against Mexico at Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, on Wednesday, Korea’s Kwon Chang-hoon scored in the second half of the match to lift Korea 1-0 over the reigning gold medalist.

The first half of the game was rather uneventful, with both sides unable to put up any notable plays. While Mexico threatened the Korean side on a few occasions, including with a shot on target in the 10th minute, neither team scored in the first half of the match.

The action picked up in the second half, with Mexico dominating the pitch and constantly attacking the Korean side with lethal shots. The closest it came to scoring was in the 61st minute when a powerful midrange shot bounced off Korea’s left goal post.

Kwon’s goal came in the 78th minute of the match. During a corner kick play, Kwon took control of the ball in a loose-ball situation and took a shot from the top of the penalty box. The ball travelled past Korean and Mexican players inside the box to rattle Mexico’s net.

As the winner of Group C with two wins and one draw, Korea will go into the next round to play against Honduras, which finished runner-up in Group D after Portugal. The quarterfinals match against Honduras is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday in Belo Horizonte.

BY CHOI HYUNG-JO (choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr)
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