Men's Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020

Men's Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020

23 July - 8 August

Olympic Football Tournament

Honduras make history with semi spot

Alberth Elis (L) of Honduras celebrates after scoring his team's first goal
© Getty Images

Honduras progressed to the semi-finals of the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016, guaranteeing their best-ever finish in the history of the competition, after beating London 2012 bronze medal winners Korea Republic 1-0 in Belo Horizonte.

A second-half breakaway goal by Alberth Elis was enough for Jorge Luis Pinto's side as Honduran goalkeeper Luis Lopez put in a stunning display to deny the Koreans.

Son Heungmin had the first opportunity to break the deadlock in the opening few minutes, finding space on the Korean right and cutting inside before finding his shot blocked by Johnny Palacios.

A foreshadow of events in the second half occurred on the half-hour mark, as Antony Lozano found Romell Quioto behind the Korean defence. The No12 switched on the afterburners but could not find the finish.

Then, Lopez produced a goalkeeping masterclass. A succession of stunning saves kept Shin Taeyong's side at bay, with two first-half saves from Son in particular, followed by a spectacular stop from Moon Changjin after the break, meant the Koreans could not find a way through.

The Hondurans were rewarded for their goalkeeper's heroics, and the Koreans punished for their profligacy, by a wonderful demonstration of lightning quick counter-attacking football. From a Taeguk Warriors set-piece, the ball was sent wide to Quioto who sprinted clear of the Korean midfield and over the halfway line. Joining him in attack, on his right, was Elis, who broke free of the Korean defence himself. Quioto played him in and the No17 finished coolly past Gu Sungyun.

Quioto made another couple of demonstrations of his rapid pace, first finding space and crossing for Lozano, who was inches away from converting, before going alone himself but missing the target.

The result means Honduras will head to Rio de Janeiro for a semi-final at the historic Maracanã stadium, where the winner of the later quarter-final between Brazil and Colombia will await them.

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