London 2012: Team GB men’s football team crash out on penalties in quarter-final
Team GB 1 South Korea 1 aet (South Korea win 5-4 on penalties)
Team GB crashed out of the Olympic football tournament tonight at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff with a penalty shootout defeat at the hands of South Korea.
After both sides had finished extra-time at 1-1, the game went to penalties, with both teams successfully dispatching their first four spot-kicks.
However, after South Korea scored their fifth, and with the pressure on Team GB, Daniel Sturridge’s stuttered run-up and penalty was well-saved by substitute keeper Bumyoung Lee, as the Asian nation booked a semi-final spot.
In a disappointing first-half display from Stuart Pearce’s men, it was Korea who took a deserved lead, when Donwon Ji struck, beating Birmingham City keeper Jack Butland on the half-hour mark.
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Having made two good saves earlier in the half, Butland was beaten too easily from a comfortable range, but the goal was no less than Korea deserved.
However, Team GB weren’t behind for long, before Aaron Ramsey equalised with a penalty after the ball was handled inside the Korea area.
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In a bizarre period of play, referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot four minutes later once again, with Korea penalised as Sturridge was upended in the box.
This time, however, Ramsey’s poorly struck spot-kick was easily saved by Jung Sungryong and the teams went in a half time with the scores level.
After the break, Team GB improved as they looked to utilise their wide options of Craig Bellamy and Scott Sinclair, and it was the former who provided the home side with their first opportunity of the second half, with Tom Cleverley just inches away from connecting with the Welshman’s cross.
Things then got worse for Team GB when Micah Richards was forced off after a clash of heads, with Craig Dawson coming on for the Manchester City defender.
The remainder of the second half was played out with both teams seemingly settling for extra time.
When the extra 30 minutes failed to produce any more action of note, penalties ensued.
And on a night when Great Britain shone in the Olympic Stadium, their footballing counterparts fell at the final hurdle.
Ramsey, Cleverley, Dawson and Ryan Giggs all converted their efforts, but Sturridge’s stuttered run-up failed to put off Lee in the Korea goal.
Team GB: Butland, Taylor, Bertrand, Caulker, Richards (Dawson, 60), Cleverley, Allen, Ramsey, Sinclair (Dawson, 106), Sturridge, Bellamy (Giggs, 85). Subs not used: Steele, Tomkins, Cork, Sordell.