Great Britain vs South Korea Olympic Soccer: Grades, Reaction & More
Great Britain and South Korea battled for a spot in the semifinal, and after extra time and penalties, the Koreans pulled out an epic victory in the quarterfinal match.
The Koreans struck first in the 29th minute, when Ji Dongwon cracked a left-footed shot into the far side of the goal.
But in the 36th minute, the Koreans gave up a penalty kick after a handball, and Aaron Ramsey coolly converted the opportunity. The Welshman had a chance to get a second goal from the spot shortly thereafter when Daniel Sturridge was taken down, but he failed to convert.
He received his redemption when the match went into penalty kicks and Ramsey led off Team GB with a successful kick, but Sturridge was not so fortunate—and his miss sent the hosts packing.
Here is complete recap of all the action.
Aaron Ramsey scores. Celebrities everywhere take cover.— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) August 4, 2012
With the match getting increasingly more intense, Mirror Football thought of a way Team GB could gain an advantage.
Can someone get Jess Ennis over to the Millennium stadium sharpish?— MirrorFootball (@MirrorFootball) August 4, 2012
The crowd on hand had a more practical solution for head coach Stuart Peace, as noted by the Daily Telegraph's Henry Winter.
Many in the Millennium crowd chanting "we want Giggs" 1-1 78— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) August 4, 2012
Daniel Sturridge will certainly be despondent after his failed penalty, but words of encouragement came from a surprising source—Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany.
No shame in going out on penalties. I feel sorry for Sturridge but I know he still got greatness ahead of him. On this note, peace out! #GB— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) August 4, 2012
Grades For Key Great Britain Players
Aaron Ramsey: B
One crucial play knocked Ramsey from an A+ all the way down to a B. He continue to help Team GB’s midfield, and the squad controlled the ball for 58 percent of the match.
He converted the first penalty, but missed the second one. Had he not missed, the team game may not have ended up in a shootout.
Jack Butland: D
Butland's atrocious grade is because he should have done much better on Ji’s shot. It was a hard strike, but Great Britain’s keeper needed to get more of a touch on it than he did.
He was unable to make up for his mistake in penalties, as all five Koreans made their attempts.
Daniel Sturridge: C-
The Chelsea man continued to provide a presence up top for his side, and his run drew the second penalty. It may have been a questionable call, but Sturridge was able to get into threatening situations during the match.
Still, his failed penalty kick doomed Team GB and ended their medal hopes.
Grades for Key South Korean Players
Ji Dongwon: B+
The Sunderland striker unleashed a rocket of a shot for his team’s only goal. It took a little luck for the attempt to get past Butland, but it was a courageous and well-taken attempt.
He is the Korean’s top attacking talent, and he came through with a goal in the match. It was just enough to send the match to penalties.
Kim Younggwon: C
Kim gets a poor mark for committing a handball in the box and allowing a penalty kick. Unfortunately for him, his goalkeeper did not bail him out.
He had good intentions with his attempted block, but it was ultimately sloppy defending that led to a yellow card and a goal.
Lee Bumyong: A
Coming on as substitute is a difficult thing for a goalkeeper to do, but the 6’6” Lee was forced into that situation.
He made a valiant effort during the penalty kick shootout, and was able to make the crucial stop to win the match.
Deciding Factor: Aaron Ramsey’s Penalty Kicks
Considering he took three penalties, his success from the spot ultimately decided this match. He converted two of three, but had he made all them, Team GB would likely be in the semifinals.
How will South Korea do against Brazil?
Man of the Match: Lee Bumyong
Goalkeepers are not expected to do much in a penalty kick shootout, but one crucial stop often wins the math for their side.
Lee's clutch save on Sturridge's shot put Korea into the next round.
Team GB heads back home, and the only solace is that the players will not have a long journey.
The Koreans now have the monumentally difficult task of taking on Brazil in the semifinals.
All scores and schedules can be found at NBCOlympics.com.
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