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South Korea sends another favorite home

The host team needs penalty kicks to eliminate Spain, which criticizes the officials for three disallowed goals.

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 23, 2002

GWANGJU, South Korea -- After Hong Myung-bo slammed the final penalty kick into the net, he sprinted to the sideline, jumped and punched the air. The 42,000 screaming fans in red jumped with him.

The co-host had done it again, upsetting Spain 5-3 in a penalty-kick shootout Saturday after a 0-0 tie.

Next up is Germany on Tuesday in the semifinals.

"As we go on, I think we can beat any team ... including Germany," said Hong, the team captain. "I can't tell the difference between a dream or reality."

Hong scored the winner after Lee Woon-jae saved a penalty kick by Joaquin Sanchez. South Korea, which hadn't won in five previous World Cups, is the first Asian team to reach the semifinals.

"I cannot describe how I am feeling," said coach Guus Hiddink, who led the Netherlands to the semifinals in 1998. "I am so happy for the boys. I think now it is a complete dream."

Before Sanchez took Spain's fourth penalty kick, he hesitated, then shot to the right. Lee guessed correctly, diving to his left to make the save.

"I missed the first three penalty shots, so I thought to myself, "Do not move. Rather, wait for the ball,"' Lee said. "Finally, Joaquin kicked the ball almost straight to me."

Sanchez said he was nervous but confident.

"I screwed up," he said. "It was my bad luck, and there's nothing more to say."

During the 10th minute of overtime, Fernando Morientes' right-footed drive sailed past Lee and hit the left post.

Spain coach Jose Camacho became the latest critic of the officials. Italy also complained after losing to South Korea in the second round.

"We expected the officiating to be better," Camacho said. "This was a quarterfinal match after all."

Spain had goals disallowed in each half of regulation on offsides and a third in overtime. Morientes looked as if he had scored off a pass from Sanchez, but Sanchez was ruled to have dribbled past the end line. Replays showed the ball never fully crossed the line.

"Everyone saw two perfectly good goals," midfielder Ivan Helguera said. "If Spain didn't win, it's because they didn't want us to win."

Camacho and stadium officials restrained players as they tried to confront the referee and his assistants after the match.

Hiddink said Spain's complaints about the overtime goal were unfounded.

"Like in the Italy game, we stopped after the linesman flagged, so you can't say it was a disallowed goal," Hiddink said. "Maybe Spain should blame themselves after they got chances caused by my players' inexperience. When teams go out, they shouldn't look to external circumstances."

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