Lee confirms international retirement
© AFP

Korea Republic veteran Lee Young-Pyo has confirmed his retirement from international football after his side went out of the AFC Asian Cup in the semi-finals.

Bidding to reach their first final since 1988, Korea Republic fell 3-0 on penalties to arch-rivals Japan in Doha on Tuesday, after a pulsating game finished 2-2 following extra-time.

"I have decided to retire from the national team," said the 33-year-old left-back, who has enjoyed a long career with PSV Eindhoven, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and Al Hilal.

Despite his age he played every minute of Korea's campaign in Qatar, including consecutive extra-time contests. However, after 126 appearances, he said the time had come to step aside.

"I had planned to discuss my retirement with the coach after the Asian Cup, but I made up my mind today that I was going to retire," Lee was quoted as saying by the Asian Cup website.

The Taeguk Warriors meet Uzbekistan - beaten 6-0 by Australia in the other semi-final - in Friday's third-place play-off, when an automatic qualifying berth at the 2015 tournament in Australia will be at stake.