Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the Olympic men's bronze medal match between South Korea and Japan at the Millennium Stadium.
By Matt Law, European Football Editor Filed: Friday, August 10, 2012 at 18:25 UK
Last Updated: Friday, August 10, 2012 at 22:17 UK
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.
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.
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
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.