The Korea Herald


S. Korean football bid foiled by hot hands in opposing net

By 이우영

Published : Aug. 14, 2016 - 10:38

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BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (Yonhap) – South Korea raninto a hot goalkeeper in their bid for a second straight Olympicfootball medal Saturday, as Honduras eliminated them in the quarterfinals with a 1-0 win.

South Korea outshot Honduras 16-6 at Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, some 340 kilometers north of Rio de Janeiro, but couldn't put one past Luis Lopez in net.

South Korea lost to Honduras 1-0 in the quarterfinals in Belo Horizonte, north of Rio, on Saturday. (Yonhap) South Korea lost to Honduras 1-0 in the quarterfinals in Belo Horizonte, north of Rio, on Saturday. (Yonhap)

Alberth Elis was the goal scorer for Honduras, but the 22-year-old custodian was easily the match's biggest star, stopping one shot after another for the impressive clean sheet.

Lopez in particular frustrated forward Son Heung-min, who was denied three times alone.

Son had South Korea's first serious opportunity with a free kick in the 39th minute. The curling shot traveled over the defensive wall and seemed to be on its way into the back of the net – only Lopez dove to his right to keep it out.

Lopez was just beginning. In the dying moments of the first half, midfielder Ryu Seung-woo got a shot off that hit a body in front and floated toward the goal. Lopez made a quick adjustment and made another save moving to his right.

Moments later, Jang Hyun-soo crossed for Son, whose hard volley was punched out by the goalkeeper.

Seemingly nothing could cool down Lopez in the second half.  Ryu connected with Son two minutes in, and Lopez stood his ground and turned aside the shot from point-blank range.

Lopez was at it again in the 55th, when Son had a wide open look and still couldn't put one past the Honduran keeper.

Three minutes later, Son actually shot one past Lopez but not into the net – the low shot rolled harmlessly out of bounds.

When a goalkeeper keeps making saves, he can get into the heads of his opposing attackers, who may start rushing their shots and getting careless.

And that's exactly what happened to Son, who committed the fatal turnover that led to the Honduras goal near the 60th minute mark.

It was all the offensive support that Lopez needed on Saturday.