LONDON: Great Britain’s first Olympic football tournament for more than 50 years ended in familiar fashion with an Englishman missing a penalty as they lost a shoot-out against South Korea.
After extra-time failed to separate the sides, who had finished all square at 1-1, it was the Koreans who held their nerve to win the shoot-out 5-4 and set up a semi-final with Brazil on Tuesday. Ji Dong-Won scored for South Korea while Ramsey equalised with a penalty in normal time.
Manchester United great Ryan Giggs smashed home his penalty to give Britain a 4-3 lead but a hesitant Sturridge saw his spot-kick blocked and Britain manager Stuart Pearce knew how Sturridge felt.
“The experience will make him better and stronger,” said Pearce. “You have days like that but he will benefit from the experience.”
Meanwhile, Brazil stayed on course for a first Olympic football gold medal but only after a nervy 3-2 win over a Honduras side reduced to nine men. Leandro Damiao equalised for Brazil after Mario Martinez put Honduras ahead. Roger Espinoza then restored the Central Americans’ lead. However, Neymar brought Brazil level again from the penalty spot before Internacional striker Damiao scored his second at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.
Japan will play Mexico in the semi-finals after the Central Americans survived a dramatic fightback by Senegal to win 4-2 in extra-time.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.