Fiji’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament debut ended in disappointment as Ryu Seungwoo’s hat-trick helped Korea Republic deliver a powerful second-half performance for an 8-0 win in Salvador.
Fiji turned in a solid first-half showing, and trailed only to Seungwoo’s goal, but it all turned sour for the Oceania side as Korea Republic crashed home seven further goals, highlighted by a stunning three-goal salvo within two minutes.
Korea Republic had the better of proceedings from the opening whistle, though the well-drilled Fiji defied them with relatively ease thanks to some strong defending. At the same, time Fiji’s athletic goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau made some impressive stops.
Korea finally went ahead just past the hour mark as Seungwoo swept home from close range. And the lead could have been doubled soon after as Moon Changjin crashed a penalty against the post.
At the other end, Fiji star forward Roy Krishna always looked a dangerous outlet on the counter-attack.
And though the London 2012 bronze medallists increased their level of dominance after the interval, no one could have foreseen what was to come.
Kwon Changhoon extended the lead with a superb turn and finish, and then added another exactly a minute later with a close-range finish after profiting from a superb Seungwoo square ball.
Then, virtually from the kick-off, the impressive Seungwoo scored his second by crashing home with a fierce effort past the exposed Tamanisau.
Korea Republic’s overage headline star Son Heungmin entered the fray midway through the second half, and he too found himself on the scoresheet within a couple of minutes after converting from the penalty spot.
Substitute Suk Hyunjun added a sixth with 13 minutes remaining, and just as Fiji’s pain appeared to be complete, the Asian heavyweights added two more late on.
Hyunjun collected his second on 90 minutes, before Seungwoo completed his treble with virtually the last kick of the match.