Written By Jacobs Dunga
The two powerhouses had to be settled via penalties in their round of 16 game.
It was as expected a keenly contested affair between two of the tournament favourites Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
Roberto Mancini and Jurgen Klinsmann, both Italian Serie A legends went head to head in the Asian cup.
Saudi Arabia dominated the first half with a huge share of the possession but couldn’t create any meaningful opening.
Roberto Mancini effected a halftime substitution as he replaced Saleh Al Shehri with Abdullah Hadi Radif.
The new entrant wasted no time in opening the scoring with his very first involvement as he latched home from a Salem Al Dawsari pass to put the Falcons ahead.
The game remained a closed affair after the goal as Saudi Arabia repelled everything thrown at them.
South Korea continued to search for the equalizer and were duly rewarded in the 9th minute of stoppages when Cho Gue Sung headed home Seol Young Woo’s cross to force extra time.
Radif was close to winning it for Saudi Arabia with the last kick of the game in extra time but the South Korean goalkeeper made a miraculous save on the striker to send the game to penalties.
The penalty shootout started dramatically with South Korea winning the toss and thus chose to have the kicks at the far end, away from the Saudi Arabian fans.
The Green Falcons faithfuls who had been loud all match raced through the concourse to the other end of the pitch to continue making their voices heard.
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It turned out for nothing in the end as South Korea edged the Falcons who missed two of their kicks to set up a date against Australia.
Sami Al Naji and Abdulrahman Ghareeb missed for Saudi Arabia while the Koreans scored all four to advance.
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