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Korea's goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo makes a save in front of Saudi Arabia's Abdulrahman Ghareeb during a penalty shootout at the end of the AFC Asian Cup Round of 16 football match  at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Tuesday. / AP-Yonhap

The hope is that this is the turning point for South Korea and Jurgen Klinsmann. It could happen. With 90 seconds remaining in Tuesday’s Round of 16 game at the Asian Cup, the Taeguk Warriors were heading home. It was 1-0 to Saudi Arabia in Qatar and the job of the head coach was looking uncertain.For almost 80 minutes of the game at Education City Stadium, Korea had created next to nothing. Abdullah Radif put Saudi Arabia deservedly ahead in the first minute of the second half and until the final stages, Korea was stuck in second gear and was sleepwalking home. Then as the Green Falcons sat deeper and deeper, the chances started coming. When the fourth official indicated 10 minutes of added time, it felt as if the goal would come.And with Lee Kang-in looking more and more dangerous, it did come. Cho Gue-song had hit the bar with a header not long before, but then in the 99th minute, he finally found the back of the net. The final whistle sounded soon after and it was then extra-time. From then, only one team was going to score and it was South Korea. Son Heung-min could not quite inspire the team to get the goal which meant a penalty shootout and Korea’s penalties were perfect. “We feel very, very proud of this team that believed in coming back the whole game,” Klinsmann said. “It was drama. This team went better and better. We should have scored earlier. At least we won the penalty shootout. This team is fantastic. They deserved this win.”

That was true in the end. Klinsmann started with a 3-4-3 formation, a major change aimed at shoring up the midfield and stopping the goals that had been conceded too often in the group stage. It didn’t work, and Klinsmann made the change back to four at the back early in the second half.It helped. As full-time approached, Korea pushed forward more and more and the stars came to the fore. The attacking was relentless and when the goal came, Saudi Arabia had nothing to offer. For Korea, the challenge is to play like the last 20 minutes or so for longer. Next comes Australia in the quarterfinal. In terms of talent, the Socceroos can’t match their opponents. But there are reasons to be concerned .One is that, Australia has had had a fairly easy time so far and in the most recent game, strolled to a 4-0 victory over Indonesia. That also took place on Sunday, more than 48 hours before Korea kicked off against Saudi Arabia. Klinsmann’s men have had a tough group stage and then a very tough second round and 130 minutes of soccer; Australia has two more days of rest and that could be crucial. Also Australia has a habit of winning without playing well and it is a precious talent. Korea will have to improve and somehow find the energy to go again in a short space of time. If they can use the spirit of the Saudi Arabia game 스포츠토토존 as a turning point then a first title since 1960 is possible.

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