Gwangju, South Korea: South Korea became the first Asian nation to reach the World Cup semifinals and compounded Spain's record of failures by winning a penalty shootout 5-3 Saturday after neither side managed a goal in 120 minutes. Joaquin Sanchez had his penalty saved and Hong Myung-bo then stepped up to take South Korea into the last four. "I cannot describe how I am feeling. I am so happy for the boys. I think now it is a complete dream," said South Korea coach Guus Hiddink, the only coach to take two different nations to the World Cup semifinals. "I think more dreams have come true now." Hiddink guided his native Netherlands to the semifinals four years ago in France. "First we would like to have a little glass of champagne now and prepare for the next game. What comes tomorrow is tomorrow," he added. South Korea, which hadn't won a game at five previous trips to the finals, set up a showdown with Germany. The Germans edged the United States 1-0 at Ulsan on Friday to move into Tuesday's semifinal at Seoul, the South Korean capital. South Korea's other successful penalties were taken by Hwang Sun-hong, Park Ji-sung, Seol Ki-hyeon and Ahn Jung-hwan. For Spain, Fernando Hierro, Ruben Baraja and Xavi Hernandez scored. The Spaniards had goals disallowed in each half of regular time and a third in overtime when Fernando Morientes netted a close-range kick off a pass from Joaquin. The linesman said the ball had gone out of play. Spain coach Jose Camacho became the latest critic of the tournament's referees. "We expected the officiating to be better. This was a quarterfinal match after all," Camacho said. In the shootout, Hwang, who missed a routine shot in extra time, stepped up first and drilled his right-foot shot between Iker Casillas' hands. Hierro was greeted with thundering boos as he calmly slotted his shot wide of Lee Woon-jae. Park made it 2-1, sending a right-footer wide of Casillas, and Baraja leveled. Seol put Korea up 3-2 but Xavi evened it at 3-3. Ahn drilled a right-footer to give the Koreans a buffer at 4-3 and Joaquin saw his crucial right-foot shot blocked by Lee. The Korean skipper Hong sealed the win with a right foot shot into the left corner, bringing almost 42,000 screaming fans to their feet. The stadium erupted into chanting of "Pilseung Korea" as the players did a lap of the field, holding flags over their heads. Hiddink and his coaching staff linked arms near the dug out.
Morientes appeared to have fired the winner for Spain in the 10th minute of extra time when his right-foot drive sailed past Lee but it struck the Korean goalkeeper's left post.
The Real Madrid forward, starting as the lone striker for Spain in the absence of injured clubmate Raul Gonzalez, had scored three goals in four previous matches but couldn't get the goal his country desperately needed.
The first of Spain's disallowed goals came when Romero was ruled offside just before halftime. Baraja angled a header into the left corner of the net five minutes after the break, only for the goal to be disallowed because Morientes was offside.
After an uncharacteristically slow start, the buzzing Korean offense moved into full swing on the hour, sparking a booming chorus of "Dae Han Min Guk", "Republic of Korea" from the red-clad crowd every time the home team had possession.
Park had South Korea's first real shot on goal in the 67th minute, lashing a powerful right-foot strike which Casillas deflected around his right post with a diving, right-handed punch.
Spain started to retake control - Hierro's freekick in the 83rd minute was punched clear by Lee and Baraja popped a header onto the roof of the net - until Hiddink went on the all-out attack by injecting Hwang and taking off defender Kim Tae-young.
Raul was ruled out of the Spanish lineup with a groin injury he picked up in Spain's win over Ireland.
Joaquin, a 21-year-old from Betis, was selected on the right wing in a 4-5-1 formation and had had a strong game until his unfortunate miss in the shootout.
President Kim Dae-jung was among the Korean supporters. During the national anthem, Koreans raised a banner at one end thanking the Netherlands for Hiddink.
Spain: 1-Iker Casillas, 4-Ivan Helguera (19-Xavi Hernandez, 94), 5-Carles Puyol, 6-Fernando Hierro (c), 8-Ruben Baraja, 9-Fernando Morientes, 11-Javi de Pedro (16-Gaizka Mendieta, 70), 15-Enrique Romero, 17-Juan Carlos Valeron (21-Luis Enrique, 80), 20-Miguel Angel Nadal, 22-Joaquin Sanchez
South Korea: 1-Lee Woon-jae, 4-Choi Jin-cheul, 5-Kim Nam-il (13-Lee Eul-yong, 32), 6-Yoo Sang-chul (14-Lee Chun-soo, 61), 7-Kim Tae-young (18-Hwang Sun-hong, 90), 9-Seol Ki-hyeon, 10-Lee Young-pyo, 19-Ahn Jung-hwan, 20-Hong Myung-bo (c), 21-Park Ji-sung, 22-Song Chong-gug.
Referee: Gamal Ghandour, Egypt.
|Shot By Shot|
|S Korea 1:||Hwang Sun-hong scores to right side after Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas gets a piece of the well-struck shot.|
|Spain 1:||Fernando Hierro scores into the upper left corner.|
|S Korea 2:||Park Ji-sung scores into the right side of the net.|
|Spain 2:||Ruben Baraja scores into the left side of the net.|
|S Korea 3:||Seol Ki-hyeon scores into the right side of the net.|
|Spain 3:||Xavi Hernandez scores into the top right corner.|
|S Korea 4:||Ahn Jung-hwan scores down the middle as Casillas dives to his right.|
|Spain 4:||Joaquin Sanchez hesitates on his approach and his shot to the shooters' right side is punched away by South Korean goalie Lee Woon-jae.|
|S Korea 5:||Hong Myung-bo scores into the top right corner.|
Topics : Football