South Korea thrashes Fiji 8-0 to grab top spot in Group C

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With matches against Germany and Mexico left to be played, South Korea entered their Olympic men’s soccer tournament against Fiji in search of a dominant result as they look to advance into the knockout stage of the competition. Thanks to Fiji keeper Simione Tamanisau it took South Korea some time to get rolling offensively, but once they did the Oceania representatives did not have an answer.

South Korea won the match 8-0, picking up a result that could be important should goal differential be a factor in determining which two teams get out of Group C.

South Korea controlled the action throughout, but they were unable to crack the Fiji defense until the 30th minute. Ryu Seung-Woo’s first goal of the match in the 30th minute gave South Korea a 1-0 lead, and they had the opportunity to expand that margin eight minutes later. A foul committed in the penalty area gave South Korea a penalty, but Moon Chang-Jin’s left-footed shot hit off the post. From that point onward Fiji remained just a goal down, with their 34-year old keeper essentially standing on his head to stop South Korea at every opportunity.

But one man can only do so much, and with the onslaught unrelenting the South Koreans managed to open the floodgates in the 63rd minute. Kwon Chang-Hoon’s goal in the 63rd minute was the first of three goals South Korea would score in a three-minute span, turning the match into a rout. Ryu Seung-Woo tallied a hat trick, becoming the first men’s soccer player to do so since Carlos Tevez in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, and Kwon and Suk Hyun-Jin scored two goals apiece for South Korea.

Tottenham’s Son Heungmin also scored, doing so from the penalty spot in the 71st minute, just one minute after he entered the game as a substitute.

The next matches in Group C are both scheduled for Sunday in Salvador, with Fiji taking on Mexico in the first game of the doubleheader with South Korea vs. Germany to follow.