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August 4, 2012
South Korea eliminates Great Britain

There will be no host team gunning for a medal in the Olympic soccer tournament.

Some 24 hours after the Great Britain women were eliminated by Canada in the quarterfinals, the men followed them out the exit door.

Great Britain lost to South Korea, 5-4, in penalty kicks, after playing to a 1-1 draw in Cardiff Wales on Saturday night.

Ki Sung-yueng converted the winning penalty after Daniel Sturridge missed the fifth attempt for Britain. Korean substitute goalkeeper Lee Bum-young dived to his right to punch Sturridge's try away.

"The only thing that I told them was to keep calm and kick the ball with confidence,'' Korean coach Hong Myung-bo said. "I asked the players to make it very difficult for [Britain] to play its own game."

Ji Dong-won scored on a shot from distance to give the Koreans the lead in the 29th minute, but Aaron Ramsey countered with a penalty kick six minutes later. Ramsey could have given Britain a 2-1 advantage several minutes later, but he missed a second penalty due to a Korean handball.


Japan qualified for the semifinals for the first time since 1968 in Manchester with a 3-0 win over Egypt.

Japan took the lead in the 14th minute when Egyptian defender Ahmed Elshenawi collided with a defender vying for the ball and the onrushing Kensuke Nagai had an easy score.

The score remained that way until in the 78th minute, when Maya Yoshida headed home Hiroshi Kiyotake's free kick. Minute later, Yuki Otsu headed in Takahiro Ohgihara's feed.


Given a second chance after squandering a two-goal lead late in the game, Mexico scored twice in extratime at Wembley Stadium in London to beat Senegal 4-2.

Giovani dos Santos and Hector Herrera broke a 2-2 deadlock in the extratime period to propel El Tri to only its second semifinal appearance in 44 years, when Japan defeated them for the bronze medal at the 1968 Summer Games.

Saturday's results left four teams alive in the men's competition -- favorite Brazil, Japan, South Korea, and of course, Mexico.

The Mexicans will meet Japan at Wembley on Tuesday, while gold-medal favorites Brazil will face Korea in Manchester the same day.

It appeared Mexico would cruise into the medal round as it took a 2-0 advantage into the final 21 minutes before Senegal staged a rally to force extratime.

The Mexicans grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute as Jorge Enriquez headed in a dos Santos free kick home. They doubled it in the 62nd minute when Javier Aquino scored from a tough angle off a good build-up by dos Snatos and Marco Fabian.

But Senegal, making its Olympic soccer debut this year, would not give up. First, Moussa Konate ran his goal total to a tournament-best five when he headed in Pape Souare's cross in the 69th minute, the first goal the Mexicans allowed this tournament.

Eight minutes into the extra session, El Tri took advantage of the first of two Senegal mistakes as Papa Gueye lost the ball and dos Santos lifted the ball over goalkeeper Ousmane Mane for his third goal of the compeititon.

In the 109th minute, Abdoulaye Ba's sent a weak header back to Mane. Raul Jimenez picked it up and fed Herrera, who headed it into the net for an important insurance goal.


Leandro Damiao recorded a brace as Brazils were forced to overcome two leads to win this David vs. Goliath battle in Newcastle, 3-2 over Honduras.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza set up Honduras' first goal in the 12th minute, intercepting a pass in the attacking zone, bringing the ball into the corner, beating a Brazilian defender before sending the ball to Maynor Figueroa at the top of the penalty area. Maynor Figueroa quickly fed Mario Martinez, who looped a shot over goalkeeper Gabriel into the far right corner.

Honduran defender Wilmer Crisanto was red carded in the 32nd minute only 43 seconds after he had been booked with a yellow card (those turned out to be among the nine yellows and two red that referee Felix Brych of Germany handed out).

The Brazilians equalized on the first Leandro Damiao goals several minutes, but Honduras retook the lead in the 48th minute on Espinoza's goal. He fired a low shot from the right side of the penalty area
into the lower left corner of the net for a rather unlikely 2-1 advantage.

But with an extra man, the Brazilians were close to unstoppable at time, although Los Catrachos tried their best. Neymar equalized on a penalty kick in the 51st minute before Leandro Damiao connected for the game-winner nine minutes later.

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