Penalties and bust for Team GB at the Olympics
Team GB 1-1 South Korea (AET)
(South Korea win 5-4 on penalties)
Once again, a British team has failed in a penalty shootout after they lost 5-4 to South Korea, following two hours of football that ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
On a Super Saturday at the London 2012 Olympics, the success didn’t travel to the Millennium Stadium and Daniel Sturridge (pictured) adds his name to the long list of English penalty takers who have failed in a major competition.
Sturridge’s penalty was saved by substitute goalkeeper Beom-Young Lee, leaving Celtic’s Ki Sung-Yong to dispatch his kick and end the British dream.
The performance wasn’t good enough from Stuart Pearce’s side, as they were tepid throughout. Ji-Dong Won gave South Korea the lead but Aaron Ramsey equalised, then had a penalty saved moments later in regulation time.
South Korea will now play Brazil in the semi-finals.
The exclusion of Ryan Giggs from the starting 11 was surprising and it was a questionable selection on the basis of the side’s first half performance. It was lethargic and pedestrian at best.
The team seemed to lack ideas, preferring the long ball approach, which left Sturridge chasing scraps in the first 45 minutes.
There was no urgency going forward and Scott Sinclair barely got a kick in the first half.
Team GB deservedly fell behind in the 29th minute to the hard-working Koreans.
Ji-Dong Won of Sunderland, making his first start in these Olympics, struck his left-foot shot well from the edge of the penalty area, but the pace of the shot beat Jack Butland.
Butland will be disappointed with his goalkeeping, his first high-profile mistake and it will be interesting to see how he recovers from this.
Five minutes later, Ryan Bertrand’s shot came off the arm of Jae-Seok Oh and a penalty was rightfully given.
Aaron Ramsey’s penalty was poor but somehow crept in and Team GB were level.
Four minutes after the first penalty, the home side got another when Sturridge was on the victim of a clumsy tackle by Ki-Sung-Yong.
Ramsey’s second penalty was even worse than his first one and this time, goalkeeper Sung-Ryong made a comfortable save.
Sung-Ryong wouldn’t see out the game however, as he was involved in a nasty collision with Micah Richards, which saw both players eventually go off, due to injury.
As the game went into extra time, it became a real test of fitness and nerves.
Ji-Dong Won had the best moment but he headed wide from six yards out, with a free header.
The game slowly drifted out to a penalty shootout in Cardiff.
Ramsey, Tom Cleverley, Craig Dawson and Giggs all took excellent penalties, whilst the Asians showed no nerves and look assured from 12 yards, giving Butland no chance with the first four kicks.
Then, a nervous looking Sturridge stuttered in his run-up and his penalty was saved by Beom-Young Lee, leaving Ki-Sung Yong to end proceedings and provide more penalty heartache for Pearce.
Team GB’s participation in football at these Olympics are over. It is an opportunity missed and sometimes, things will never change.
By Simon Wright - Follow me on Twitter @Siwri88
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