AL RAYYAN — South Korea beat Saudi Arabia 4-2 in a penalty shootout to advance to the Asian Cup quarterfinals after a thrilling last-16 tie ended 1-1 in extra time at Education City Stadium on Tuesday.
After South Korea’s Cho Gue-sung equalised in second-half added time to cancel Abdullah Radif’s opener, Sami Al-Najei and Abdulrahman Ghareeb had their penalties saved to send South Korea through to the last eight where they will play 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 spotkicks to advance but they will have only two days to recover, however, with their quarterfinal clash against 2015 champions Australia taking place on Friday.