The men’s football tournament at the Tokyo Olympics kicked off on Thursday, with South Korea losing to New Zealand 1-0 due to a combination of bad luck and a lack of technical finishing.
Chris Wood, a striker for Burnley, scored the game’s only goal in the second half after his shot deflected off a defender’s leg and landed at his feet at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima, northeast of Tokyo.
New Zealand Vs South Korea Football Olympics
South Korea’s chances of winning a second football medal at the Olympics were dealt an early blow after they were defeated in their opening Group B encounter. They have a must-win game against Romania on Sunday and then face Honduras on Wednesday. Group winners advance to the next round.
I want to apologise to our fans for the regrettable result,” South Korea’s coach Kim Hak-bum stated. But we still have two more matches. I believe we can make it to the quarterfinals if we are well-prepared for them.
At the break, South Korea had the better of play but still failed to score. Kwon Chang-hoon, one of South Korea’s three overage players, squandered a pair of open shots from within a yard of the goal. Both chances were created by fullback Kang Yoon-seong.
In the 22nd minute, Kwon chested down a Kang cross but shot wide on a volley. Twenty minutes later, Kang reconnected with Kwon to set up another volley attempt. Kwon made contact, but his shot went over the net.
In the 41st minute, Hwang Ui-jo had a golden opportunity to score South Korea’s opening goal after a brilliant cross from Um Won-sang, but goalkeeper Michael Woud dove to his knees to make a diving save.
With 12 shots on goal, South Korea kept pushing but was unsuccessful.
Hwang, the team’s striker who was largely ineffective after halftime, said his team’s early nervousness was to blame for their defeat.
“I think things will get better from here on out,” Hwang remarked.
We still have two games remaining, so we can’t afford to lose faith. I’m going to have to discuss that with my teammates.
Students from several hundred of the area’s public schools watched the game. The city of Kashima is not under the same state of emergency as the capital of Tokyo, and therefore it will be able to admit a small number of spectators, whereas activities in Tokyo will be held without spectators.