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  • 1 August 2012
  • • 17:00
  • • Wembley Stadium, London
  • Referee: P. Kralovec
  • • Attendance: 76927

South Korea 0-0 Gabon: Draw enough to send Asians into quarter-finals

South Korea 0-0 Gabon: Draw enough to send Asians into quarter-finals

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The Taegu Warriors earned the point they needed to progress to the last eight of the Olympics tournament while the Panthers exited the competition on a dour note

South Korea ensured their qualification from Group B of the Olympics men's football tournament by securing a point in a disappointing 0-0 draw with Gabon.

Both sides struggled to create chances in a match that didn't offer much entertainment for the Wembley crowd with Levy Madinda's shot off the post the closest anyone came to opening the scoring.

South Korea coach Hong Myung Bo made one change to the team that beat Switzerland with attacker Baek Sung-Dong replacing Nam Tae-Hee.

For Gabon, Stevy Nsambe came in for the suspended Henri Ndong whilst his namesake Emmanuel Ndong surprisingly returned from injury to take the place of Alexander Ndoumbou in midfield.

South Korea started proceedings on the front foot as a long direct ball up field sent Park Chu-Young through but the Arsenal man’s shot was weak and straight at Didier Ovono.

Influential Gabonese player Merlin Tandjigorahad was then forced to leave the field due to injury, a huge blow to the Panthers' hopes of earning the victory they desperately needed.

And their woes were almost compounded when a fast Korean break nearly provided the opening goal as Koo Ja-Cheol’s effort brought a fine save from Ovono.

And the same man came close again in the 28th minute when his glancing header went agonisingly wide to keep the match a stalemate.

Into the second half the Taegu Warriors continued to dictate possession but mustered few shots at goal until Sung-Dong blasted a cross high and wide in the 58th minute.

Despite failing to mount any serious attacking pressure, Gabon came incredibly close to taking the lead just after the hour as Madinda’s shot deflected away from keeper Sung Ryong-Jung but unfortunately struck the post.

As the final whistle drew ever closer the game began to open up. Substitute Ji Dong-Won’s fine dribble ended with a cross for Park, who just couldn’t leap high enough to head the ball home.

With Gabon needing a win to have any chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals they pushed forward in increasing numbers.

However, although their effort couldn’t be questioned, they failed to find the quality to create a clear cut chance as the game petered out to a dull draw.