Jürgen Klinsmann's South Korea qualified for the quarter-finals of the Asian Nations Cup by overthrowing Roberto Mancini's Saudi Arabia after the penalty shootout (1-1 ap, 4 tab to 2), Tuesday in Al-Rayyan (Qatar).
The duel between the selections led by the two former glories of the 1990s turned to the advantage of the German. The Italian's team led until the last minute of added time thanks to a goal scored by Abdullah Radif (1-0, 46th). But a header from Cho Gue-sung allowed the South Koreans to snatch extra time (1-1, 90 9).
During this additional half hour, Bayern Munich defender Kim Min-jae almost imitated his teammate (98th), but his header was returned by the goalkeeper as was Radif's strike on the Saudi side (120 3).
It was ultimately on penalties that everything was decided. Jo Hyeon-woo was South Korea's hero as he repelled attempts from Sami Al Naji and Abdulrahman Ghareeb. Visibly disappointed, Roberto Mancini chose to return to the locker room after the failures of his two players and before Hwang Hee-chan's last victorious shot on goal. South Korea, whose two victories in the competition date back to 1956 and 1960, will face Australia in the quarterfinals on Friday. Earlier, Uzbekistan also booked their ticket by beating Thailand 2-1 at Al-Wakrah.
The Uzbeks opened the scoring with Aziz Turg'unboyev (37th) before conceding the equalizer with a beautiful curling shot from Supachok Sarachat (58th). At the conclusion of a great collective action, Abbosbek Fayzullayev gave victory to the “White Wolves” (65th). Uzbekistan, who joins the quarters for the fifth time, will face host and defending champion Qatar on Saturday.