Live Commentary: Bronze medal match: South Korea 2-0 Japan - as it happened

Live Commentary: South Korea 2-0 Japan - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the Olympic men's bronze medal match between South Korea and Japan at the Millennium Stadium.

Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of the bronze medal match in the men's football competition between South Korea and Japan at the Millennium Stadium.

The two Asian sides have endured a bitter rivalry throughout their history, with one set to end their search for the medal which has long eluded them.

It is 44 years since Japan last won a medal in the men's competition, while South Korea have yet to claim one in their history.

Japan suffered disappointment in their semi-final clash with Mexico - taking the lead before eventually losing 3-1. Meanwhile, South Korea were comfortably beaten 3-0 by the favourites for the gold and standout team in the competition, Brazil.

Please note that kickoff is at 7.45pm.


9.48pmThat's just about me for this evening. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the live coverage and be sure to join us tomorrow. Until then!

9.46pmMeanwhile, just a reminder that we will be back at 2pm on Saturday for the men's final between Mexico and Brazil at Wembley. You will not want to miss that one I can assure you!

9.44pmJapan's 44-year wait for an Olympic medal continues following defeat this evening. Meanwhile, South Korea claim their first ever medal in a men's Olympic tournament - a brilliant day for such a proud nation.

9.42pmOur full report of the match, courtesy of Joe Fish, can be found here. Meanwhile, a word of praise must go to Jack Prescott who correctly guessed the outcome prior to the match!

9.40pmThe expected onslaught from Japan simply did not arrive with their final ball lacking quality all too often. Both sides registered 10 shots on goal - four apiece on target - but Korea certainly played the better football.

9.38pmSo there we have it. South Korea have ended their long wait for an Olympic medal with a 2-0 win over rivals Japan. The match was dominated by a host of challenges, rather than fantastic play, but ever since Korea took the lead it did not look in doubt. Park scored five minutes before the interval to move them ahead. Meanwhile, a strike from Koo after 58 minutes secured a comfortable lead.

9.36pmSOUTH KOREA CLAIM BRONZE IN THE MEN'S FOOTBALL.

FULL-TIMESouth Korea 2-0 Japan

9.35pmHalf-chance for Japan as the ball bounces in the Korean box, but it just would not fall for a blue shirt. That could be just about it.

9.33pmWe will play three minutes of additional time. Japan need to score twice. It will not happen - sorry.

9.32pmMeanwhile, final change for Korea as the skipper Koo is replaced by Kim Kee-hee.

9.30pmJapan have the ball in the net! But it is not given as the referee awards a foul for a challenge on Jung. It's a booking for Yoshida - who headed home.

9.28pmMeanwhile, change for Korea as Park is replaced by Kim Hyun-sung.

9.26pmYoshida has moved into an attacking role for Japan in the final moments of the match. However, Korea continue to defend with such brilliance.

9.24pmFrustration from Japan as Otsu catches the head of Park with his boot. Most of the players will be sore tomorrow that's for certain. Little over 10 minutes remaining.

9.22pmThere has still been just the singular shot on goal from Japan and it came in the opening half. They just have not created anything.

9.20pmSo nearly three for Korea as Yun advances into the Japan box, but he is just crowded out at the vital moment. Meanwhile, Japan continue to struggle to find a final ball.

9.18pmOne goal could change everything, but with 15 minutes remaining, there is just no sign of one. Korea are on their way to bronze unless Japan can find something in the latter stages.

9.16pmIt's a nasty one for Yamamura as he is caught by the elbow of Park. There has certainly been some tasty challenges this evening.

9.14pmKorea are just taking the sting out of proceedings at the moment, but when Japan do attack - the final ball continues to go wayward. Time is certainly not on their side.

9.12pmMeanwhile, another change for Japan as Nagai is replaced Takashi Usami.

9.12pmChange for Korea with Ji replaced by Nam Taehee. The Sunderland man has run his socks off this evening.

9.10pmSo nearly for Japan as Kiyotake searches out the run of Otsu, but his pass is just too long and Jung collects. Meanwhile, Korea are just looking to run down the clock with possession.

9.08pmIt's comfortable for Korea at the moment with everything from Japan coming down the middle. Where's the width? It's just all so central.

9.06pmHalf-chance for Japan as Kiyotake strikes an effort from inside the box, but it just moves wide of the post.

9.06pmSo, 30 minutes remaining in Cardiff. Japan need two goals without reply to take this to additional time. Meanwhile, another change for Japan as Higashi is replaced by Kenyu Sugimoto.

9.04pmChance! So nearly three for Korea as Kim strikes from outside the box, but Gonda pushes his effort onto the crossbar. Japan are leaving all sorts of holes at the back.

9.02pmMeanwhile, change for Japan as Kasuya Yamamura replaces Ohgihara. They need a goal, and quickly.

9.02pmJust like that Korea double their lead. How do Japan get back into this match? It is such a killer blow. The Japanese crowd are stunned.

9pmKorea double their lead against the run of play as the skipper Koo produces a cool finish inside the box. Is this one over?

9pmGOAL! South Korea 2-0 Japan (Koo)

9pmChance! Really nice work from Japan as Otsu links with Nagai, but the latter's shot is collected.

8.58pmAgain another Japanese attack breaks down as Kiyotake finds Nagai outside the box, but Kim is there to thwart the danger. Nine Korean players behind the ball at the moment.

8.56pmIt's a decent spell of possession for Japan, but they simply cannot find a way through the Korean defence. They are so well drilled and organised.

8.54pmChance! So nearly number two for Korea as Park advances on goal, but Gonda just made the challenge. Really good goalkeeping from the 23-year-old.

8.52pmJapan just are not playing their normal game at the moment with every ball being sent long. Meanwhile, Korea are measured at the beginning of this half.

8.50pmJapan start the second half the way they ended the first, with a foul. That's 12 for them in this match. Meanwhile, Korea have committed 14.

8.48pmKorea get us underway. Meanwhile, Park is emerging for the second period sporting a serious shiner on his face from that first half - which tells you everything you need to know about the match thus far.

8.46pmHere we go then. Both sets of players are emerging for the second period. The onus is certainly on Japan to attack this second half.

8.44pmIf Korea get it, then it could be curtains. Meanwhile, if Japan can level the scores, then I can see the match heading for extra time.

8.42pmNeither of the two sides score a lot of goals - at least they haven't this summer - and therefore you'd have to think that the next goal could decide this match.

8.40pmWhat do Japan need to do different? Nagai and Otsu just have not seen the ball in the opening period. Meanwhile, their defence is sitting far too deep with Park's presence unsettling them.

8.38pmBoth sides have registered one shot on target, but the only statistic that matters sees Korea lead at the interval.

8.36pmJapan have just about shaded possession with 51%. Meanwhile, they have had five shots to Korea's four.

8.34pmI have got a slight feeling that the two sides do not really like eachother. Would that be fair?! Right, let's take a look at some statistics from the opening half.

8.32pmGood grief! What an opening half of football between the two rivals. Not so much for the quality of the game, but for the challenges. Five yellow cards have been awarded, but in truth it could, and should, have been much more. Park's goal after 38 minutes remains the difference with chances few and far between.

HALF-TIMESouth Korea 1-0 Japan

8.30pmJust the one additional minute to play at the end of the half - and still the challenges are flying in.

8.30pmJapan pick up their first booking of the match as Takahiro Ohgihara jumps into Park with his elbow. Really is an ill-feeling between the two sides.

8.28pmAgain it's a nice idea from Korea as Koo searches out the run of Park, but his pass is just too long for the Arsenal striker. Japan need some inspiration here.

8.26pmChance! Opportunity for number two for Korea as Yun strikes from inside the box, but it just moves wide of Gonda's post.

8.24pmIt was really nice feet from Park, but questions must be asked about the goalkeeper. The shot has just gone under him. Not that Korea will mind one bit. Game on in Cardiff!

8.23pmSouth Korea take the lead and it's Park who evades the challenge of two defenders before firing past the goalkeeper.

8.23pmGOAL! South Korea 1-0 Japan (Park)

8.21pmChance! It's another fine opportunity for Sakai as he meets a corner from Kiyotake, but he heads just wide of the post.

8.21pmChance! It's another fine opportunity for Sakai as he meets a corner from Kiyotake, but he heads just wide of the post.

8.19pmReally is heating up now as a brawl breaks out between both sets of players. The fuse was lit by a horror challenge from Koo on Sakai. It was not a great tackle.

8.17pmThe match is so delicately poised at the moment with just over 10 minutes of the opening period to play. A goal changes the entire feel of this game.

8.15pmBoth sides are exchanging spells of possession at the moment. Although, Japan's passing is just starting to become that bit crisper.

8.13pmChance! Best chance of the match for Japan as Kiyotake strikes from outside the box, but Jung pushes the ball to safety.

8.11pmFirst yellow card of the match - long overdue - goes to Korea's Ki as he fells Otsu. Meanwhile, Oh Jaesuk is handed the second. It is turning into one of those games.

8.09pmA few real nasty challenges going in at the moment as Ji catches Sakai - with Japan camped in the Korean half. Meanwhile, the pitch is cutting up quite badly this evening.

8.07pmStill no clear-cut chances for either side with a series of fouls breaking up play in the past few moments. Could be just the singular goal that wins it tonight.

8.05pmJust a sighter for Korea as Koo collects a Ji pass in the box, but his touch is just too long and it drifts out for a goal kick. Real end-to-end stuff at the moment.

8.03pmSuddenly it's all Japan with Kiyotake and Nagai combining inside the Korean box, but Higashi's strike is just over the crossbar.

8.01pmSo, 15 minutes played in Cardiff. Korea have dominated possession, although neither side has created any real chance of note.

7.59pmJapan just cannot keep the ball at the moment with Nagai and Otsu struggling for touches. Meanwhile, Keigo Higashi and Hiroshi Kiyotake are struggling to control the midfield.

7.57pmIt really is all one-way traffic at the moment with Park causing problems. The Arsenal man plays a smart one-two with Koo, but it just would not fall for the skipper in the area.

7.55pmAgain it's really nice play from Korea with Ji and Koo Jacheol both involved, but the danger is cleared by Yoshida at the vital moment.

7.53pmIt's Korea who have begun to take control of possession in the past minute or two. Both these sides have such lovely ability on the ball. Dare I say a bit like Spain?!

7.51pmPenalty shout for Korea as Park tumbles in the box under the challenge of Sakai, but the referee waves play on. It would have been a soft one.

7.51pmIt's bright play from Korea as Ki Sung-yueng searches out Park in the box, but Hiroki Sakai just comes across to clear the danger. Possession play from both sides in the early stages.

7.49pmPlenty of bodies flying into challenges in the early stages with much of the play in the middle of the park thus far. The referee will have to have a good game this evening.

7.47pmAll-action start from Korea as Ji searches out Park with a high ball, but Yoshida just manages to clear the danger under pressure.

7.45pmJapan kick us off on this glorious evening in Cardiff. Bronze medal up for grabs. Let's play some football.

7.44pmHere we go. Handshakes over. Flags exchanged. We really are just moments away now.

7.42pmNow it's Japan's turn. Two very proud nations on display this evening.

7.40pmIt's national anthem time. South Korea to go first. Some very serious faces in that lineup.

7.38pmRight. Here we go then. Both sets of players are emerging onto the pitch. Little over five minutes until kickoff.

7.36pmThe last time the two sides met was in the semi-finals of the Asian Cup last year - Japan won on penalties. Will history repeat itself in the Olympics?

7.34pmYou just get the feeling that Park has to perform for Korea this evening. Meanwhile, it would probably be fair to state that Japan have more attacking threat in their ranks.

7.32pmWe have already discussed the danger men for each side, but what about the defence? Kim Young-gwon has been the star for South Korea. Meanwhile, Maya Yoshida has starred for Japan.

7.30pmSouth Korea: Jung; Oh, Yun, Kim Y, Hwang; Ki S, Kim B, Koo J, Park J, Ji D; Park C

Japan: Gonda; Tokunaga, Sakai, Yoshida, Suzuki; Ohgihara, Higashi, Yamaguchi, Kiyotake; Otsu, Nagai

7.28pmJust in case you missed the lineups this evening. Here's a reminder.

7.26pmNow I must get back to tonight's match. We are just about 20 minutes away from kickoff. Just a reminder that the victor this evening will gain bronze.

7.24pmI was going to say back to the game, but Paul Jones has come in with a score of Korea to win 3-1. Meanwhile, Dan has finally given a score of 2-1 to Japan. Good luck chaps!

7.22pmOh we have a late backer with our very own Mark Langshaw backing Korea to win 2-1. Meanwhile, Dan Saney is refusing to answer the question at the moment.

7.20pmSo there we have it! Plenty of opinions on the staff, with Jack Prescott the only backer for Korea. Good luck Jack!

7.18pmJack Prescott: Korea 2-0 Japan.

Liam Apicella: Korea 1-2 Japan.

Neil Wilkes: Korea 10-11 Japan.

Pascal Lemesre: Korea 1-4 Japan.

Joe Fish: Korea 1-2 Japan

7.16pmI'm going to stick my neck on the line and back a 3-1 win for Japan this evening. However, we have plenty of differing opinions on the staff. I'll bring you them now!

7.14pmRight, we are just around 30 minutes away from kickoff this evening. The Millennium Stadium is starting to fill up nicely.

7.12pmThe two sides conceded just two goals in eight games between them prior to the semi-finals - which points to a workmanlike match, rather than one full of goals this evening.

7.10pmSouth Korea, meanwhile, have become known as harder to break down, but with just one goal in their past two games, they are struggling for goals. In Park Chu-young and Ki Dong-won they have Premier League quality in their ranks, but neither has impressed thus far.

7.08pmOf the six goals they have scored this summer, Otsu has three. Meanwhile, fellow striker Kensuke Nagai has two goals to his name.

7.06pmIt would probably be fair to state that Japan have adopted more attacking tactics in the competition thus far, with Yuki Otsu spearheading their attack. They have become known for their work rate, tidy passing and clinical touch. Meanwhile, they have shown that Asian football is certainly becoming stronger.

7.04pmPerhaps South Korea have the bigger incentive to triumph with reports suggesting that the entire team will be granted military exemption if they can achieve the bronze medal this summer. Although Japan are certainly not a side ready to grant a favour at this stage of the competition.

7.02pmThey clashed with Mexico in the semi-finals and it started well when Yuki Otsu handed them a first-half lead. However, three goals from the South Americans blocked their route to the final.

7pmTheir final group game was a 0-0 draw with Honduras. Meanwhile, they recorded an impressive 3-0 win over Egypt to qualify for the semi-finals.

6.58pmMeanwhile, Japan registered seven points to top Group D in impressive fashion. They opened their campaign with a shock 1-0 win over Spain. Meanwhile, they beat Morocco 1-0 to qualify from the group stages.

6.56pmJi Dong-won handed them the lead against Stuart Pearce's side, but they had to settle for penalties - which they won - to set up a semi-final clash with Brazil. They started in confident fashion against the yellows, but lost 3-0 when Mano Menezes's side turned on the style in the second period.

6.54pmThey needed just a point to qualify for the quarter-finals in their final group game - and they drew against Gabon - to set up a quarter-final clash with Team GB.

6.52pmRight, let's take a look at how each side reached this stage of the competition. South Korea finished second in Group B behind Mexico. They opened their campaign with a 0-0 draw against the Mexicans, before goals from Park Chu-young and Kim Bo-kyung gave them a 2-1 win over Switzerland.

6.50pmThe geographic rivalry between the two sides is there for all to see, but there is also underlying ill-feeling due to the battle for the 2002 World Cup - which was hosted by both sides after an agreement could not be reached.

6.48pmMeanwhile, Japan continue with the dangerous duo Yuki Otsu and Kensuke Nagai in attack.

6.46pmSouth Korea also welcome first choice goalkeeper Jung Sungr-yong back into the team in place of Lee Bum-young.

6.44pmSo there we have it. Park comes back into the side for South Korea. Meanwhile, Sunderland striker Ji Dong-won also starts in midfield.

6.42pmSouth Korea: Jung; Oh, Yun, Kim Y, Hwang; Ki S, Kim B, Koo J, Park J, Ji D; Park C

Japan: Gonda; Tokunaga, Sakai, Yoshida, Suzuki; Ohgihara, Higashi, Yamaguchi, Kiyotake; Otsu, Nagai

6.40pmBREAKING: Park Chu-young returns for South Korea this evening. Full team news to follow.

6.38pmBoth sides also enter the match in solid form with Korea on an unbeaten 14-game run prior to their loss to Brazil. Meanwhile, Japan had won every game this summer - and were yet to concede - before their 3-1 defeat to Brazil.

6.36pmMeanwhile, Japan reached the semi-finals for the first time this summer. They were knocked out in the quarter-finals 12 years ago in their previous best-placed finish.

6.34pmSouth Korea have never finished inside the top four at the Olympic Games - therefore they have set a new record - while they remarkably play for bronze despite scoring just three goals in the competition thus far.

6.32pmJust a reminder that the conclusion of the tournament takes place on Saturday when Brazil and Mexico clash in the gold medal match, but either Japan or South Korea will claim bronze this evening.

6.30pmHello all! Well what a competition we have had. There was the shock of Spain's exit from the group stages. Meanwhile, the likes of Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and Honduras have shown vast improvement this summer.


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