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Asian Cup: South Korea beat Saudi Arabia on penalties to reach last eight



Asian Cup South Korea captain Son Heung-min celebrates with teammates as they progressed to the last eight

South Korea defeated Saudi Arabia 4-2 in a penalty shootout to progress to the Asian Cup quarter-finals after their thrilling last-16 contest ended 1-1 after extra time on Tuesday at Education City Stadium.

After South Korea’s Cho Gue-sung levelled in late in the second-half to cancel Abdullah Radif’s opener, Sami Al-Najei and Abdulrahman Ghareeb’s penalties were saved, sending South Korea to the last eight of the Asian Cup, where they face Australia.

In a goalless first half, Saudi Arabia hit the crossbar twice from a corner while Son Heung-min was the only South Korean player to test the keeper with two tame efforts on goal.

However, Saudi Arabia took the lead in the first minute after the restart when halftime substitute Abdullah Radif made an instant impact, stealing in behind the defence and finding the far corner of the net from skipper Salem Al-Dawsari’s pass.

With Saudi Arabia having one foot in the quarter-finals, South Korea finally breached the Saudi defence in the ninth minute of added time when their pressure paid off and Cho Gue-sung headed home from close range to force extra time.

South Korea then converted all their spot kicks to advance but they will have only two days to recover, however, with their quarter-final clash against 2015 Asian Cup champions Australia taking place on Friday.

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