The football tournament at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games moves into the knockout stages this weekend with the Quarter Finals. South Korea progressed as group winners and will take on Central Americans Honduras. The game kicks off at 7am (Korea Time) or 7pm (Local Time).
Before looking at that game lets quickly overview the Men’s 2016 Olympic Football Tournament;
Men’s Football at the Rio Summer Olympic Games 2016
We’re now into the Knockout stages of the competition, the 4 group winners were Portugal, Nigeria, South Korea and hosts Brazil and the group runners-up Colombia, Honduras, Denmark and Germany. South Korea finished the group stages with the best record, boosted by their 7-0 win over minnows Fiji. A possible semi-final with Brazil is a real possibility. The stand out game is at 1am (Kora Time) between World Champions Germany and European Champions Portugal. All of the games take place on Sunday Morning August 14th.
South Korea U23 vs. Honduras U23 – Preview and Prediction (Thursday August 14th 2016 at 7am Korean Time)
South Korea U23:
South Korea will be looking to go 2 steps further these Olympic Games and a take a gold medal, bettering the Bronze they won in London. The U23 squad also won the Gold Medal 2 years ago at the Asian Games held in Incheon. They came runners-up in the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship back in January to qualify, and so have a proven track record. In the first group game they beat Pacific Island Minnows Fiji 8-0, however it was only 1-0 after 60mins. Korea showed better conditioning later in the match and start taking their chances. They then drew against Germany 3-3 in a wild game, before beating Mexico in a close game 1-0 in order to win the group.
Key Player: Tottenham Hotspur Striker Son Heung-Min (valued around $30million) will be a danger for any defence during this tournament. He’s played at the World Cup and Asian Cup, so he also brings in valuable experience. He played the final 20mins of the first game and scored. He then played a full 90 against Germany scoring again. He also played a full 90 against Mexico but wasn’t involved maybe as much as he should have been.
They qualified for these Olympic Games by finishing runners up in the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. Losing to Mexico in the final (who Korea beat) and beating the USA in the Semi-Finals. They reached the Quarter Finals back in 2012 and didn’t get past the group stages back in 2008. They won their opening group game 3-2 over Algeria, then lost to group winners Portugal (2-1). In the final game they drew with South American giants Argentina sending them home and setting up Sunday’s game with South Korea.
Key Player: Is 23year old Anthony Lozano who currently plays for Spanish 2nd tier side CD Tenerife. He is part of the full international squad and bring a good amount of experience to the side. He scored the 3rd goal against Algeria in the opening game and has looked dangerous throughout the tournament.
These sides have never played each other before at U23 level. They did play in a friendly back in 2011 at full international level, with Korea winning 4-0 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
South Korea U23 2 – 0 Honduras U23
South Korea will come into this game as favorites, but Honduras proved against Argentina that they are strong at the back and therefore this won’t be a landslide. South Korea will have the overall edge in both fitness and skill, so will win this and progress to the semi-finals.
South Korea U23 vs. Honduras U23 (Olympic Games Quarter Finals) Result & photos
South Korea U23 0 – 1 Honduras U23
A 60th minute goal on the counter attack from Elis proved the difference in the end. Korea had chances and maybe should have scored, but Honduras held strong.