Spain Beats South Korea In Penalty Shootout
Manizales, Colombia, Aug 11 : Spain edged South Korea in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Under-20 World Cup.
Spain, one of the tournament favorites, and South Korea failed to score after regulation time and 30 minutes of extra time, forcing the shootout.
South Korea's Kim Kyung-jung missed the deciding penalty, firing over the crossbar to give Spain a winning 7-6 margin.
Spain goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco stopped South Korea's third attempt, a shot from Lee Ki-je, while the Spanish missed only the third of their eight attempts - when Koke's shot went over the crossbar.
Spain's Under-20 squad is trying to emulate the World Cup won a year ago by its senior team, but the South Koreas nearly ruined the dream. Spain has won the U-20 title only once, in 1999. South Korea's best showing was a fourth-place finish in 1983.
Although Spain had more possession, South Korea had just as many dangerous chances and its tough marking kept the Iberians from getting as many scoring chances as it might have had.
Both team were exhausted at the end, playing in Manizales at 2,150 meters (7,100 feet), but Spain probably had its best three scoring chances in the final minutes of extra time.
Antonio Luna shot just wide of the far post in the 112th minute. In the 115th, South Korea's Jang Hyun-Soon cleared the ball off the line - inches from going over - after keeper No Dong-geon was caught out of position following a save on Isco. And in the 117th, Alvaro Vazquez's free kick hit the crossbar where it joins the post.
Spain had more possession in the first half, but South Korea had more chances using its speed and counterattacks.
South Korea's best early chances came within a minute of each other. Kim Young-uk's long shot in the 20th was stopped with a leaping save by Pacheco. Lee Yong-jae tested Pacheco a minute later.
Spain's Rodrigo shot just wide of the post in the 27th. Ten minutes later Korean keeper No dived to stop Spain's Cristian Tello—probably Spain's best chance in the half.
The teams had few scoring threats in the second half with much of the play in midfield. South Korea's marking kept Spain from its usual ball possession and attack.
There were few chances in extra time, and Spain had most of them as time ran out. AP