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10-man S. Korea lose to Indonesia to miss out on Paris Olympic football qualification

April 26, 2024 - 07:41 By Yonhap
South Korean players react to their 11-10 penalty shootout loss to Indonesia in the quarterfinals at the Asian Football Confederation U-23 Asian Cup at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha on Thursday. (Korea Football Association)

South Korea fell to Indonesia 11-10 on penalties to be eliminated from the Olympic men's football qualifiers in Qatar on Thursday, unable to grab a ticket to Paris after losing their best scorer and head coach in the second half.

Indonesia's 12th kicker Pratama Arhan scored after Lee Kang-hee was denied by Ernando Ari in the nailbiting shootout in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation U-23 Asian Cup at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha.

This tournament doubles as the AFC qualifying tournament for the Paris Olympics. The top three teams -- the two finalists and the winner of the third-place match -- will earn their spots in the Olympics, while the fourth-place team will face Guinea in an intercontinental playoff match.

By missing the semifinals, South Korea's streak of competing in the Olympic men's football tournament has come to an end at nine.

South Korea went down a man in the 70th minute when Lee Young-jun, their top scorer for the tournament with three goals, was shown a straight red card for a hard foul on Justin Hubner. Then about seven minutes into second-half added time, South Korea head coach Hwang Sun-hong was also sent off after arguing a call with referee Shaun Evans.

Indonesia's South Korean-born head coach, Shin Tae-yong, beat his native country for the first time and is now a win away from sending Indonesia to their first Olympics since 1956.

Indonesia held a 2-1 lead at halftime, thanks to a brace by Rafael Struick.

South Korea had a goal disallowed on an offside ruling in the eighth minute. Defender Lee Kang-hee put a right-footed volley into the net after the ball had landed on his feet following a free kick, but a video assistant referee review showed that Eom Ji-sung, who was involved in the goal-scoring sequence inside the box, had been in an offside position.

Indonesia scored the opening goal seven minutes later, with Struick floating a perfectly-placed shot to the top right corner after Marselino Ferdinan's initial attempt from outside the box was blocked.

South Korea pulled even in the 45th minute thanks to a fortuitous bounce.

Eom tried to head home a cross from Hong Si-hoo, and the ball hit defender Komang Teguh's head before finding its way past Ari. Teguh was charged with an own goal.

It took only three more minutes before Indonesia reclaimed their lead.

Ivan Jenner's long pass from his own half took a hop just outside the box. And as Lee Kang-hee had trouble following the flight of the ball, Struick snuck in behind Lee and poked the ball home for a 2-1 Indonesia lead.

Struick nearly completed a hat trick about nine minutes into added time by redirecting a pass from Witan Sulaeman, but Baek Jong-bum came up with his best save of the night to keep it a one-goal match.

The teams traded a few chances early in the second half, with Struick in particular threatening to score in the 54th and 57th minutes. For South Korea, Kang Seong-jin had a shot from the center of the box blocked by Rizky Ridho at the hour mark.

The match took an abrupt turn in the 70th minute when Lee Young-jun was shown a straight red card for a hard foul on Justin Hubner.

Lee initially received a yellow card a few minutes earlier after colliding with Hubner deep in the Indonesian zone, but a VAR review upgraded it to a straight red, with the replay showing Lee had stepped on Hubner's right ankle.

Even with the man disadvantage, South Korea pulled even in the 84th minute.

After making a save, Baek slung the ball to Hong Yun-sang to start a fast break. Hong then connected with Jeong Sang-bin sprinting down the left flank, and the Minnesota United forward found the bottom right corner with a right-footed shot to make it 2-2.

Coach Hwang was shown the door during added time, but his players managed to send the match into extra time.

Neither side had a dangerous look in the first half of the extra session, but Indonesia made a hard push over the final 20 or so minutes, with Jeam Kelly Sroyer and Ramadhan Sananta sending their attempts over the net.

In the shootout, South Korea thought they had clinched the win after Baek stopped Indonesia's fifth kicker, Hubner. But a VAR review determined that Baek had moved both feet off the goal line before Hubner took the shot, and the Indonesian player was awarded a retake.

Hubner made no mistake this time and kept Indonesia alive.

South Korea's sixth kicker, Kang Sang-yoon, was turned aside by Ari, but then Arkhan Fikri missed his shot to left when he had a chance to win it for Indonesia.

With the teams tied at 10-10, Ari then bailed out Fikri with his save on Lee Kang-hee, before Arhan converted his kick to cap the wild night in Doha.