Senegal, Africa’s remaining representative at the ongoing FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland, were on Saturday knocked out of the competition.
That was after Korea Republic completed a thrilling 2-2 comeback to send the game to extra time.
The engrossing quarter-final encounter which finished 3-3 at the end of extra time saw the Korea Republic defeat Senegal 3-2 on penalty kicks.
The win over the west Africans who eliminated Nigeria’s Flying Eagles 2-1 in the second round sent the Asians through to the Poland 2019 semi-finals.
Senegal were the more active attackers in the first half at the Bielsko-Biala Stadium and broke through in the 37th minute.
Ibrahima Niane’s cushioned header from the goal line set up captain Cavin Diagne for an uncontested finish from eight yards.
They held their lead until the 62nd minute.
Korea Republic earned a penalty kick after Lee Jisol was pushed in the back inside the penalty area, and Lee Kangin up stepped to equalise coolly from the spot.
Seven minutes later, Senegal returned the favour after Lee Jaeik was ruled to have handled the ball in the box by the Video Assistant Referee, VAR.
Lee Gwangyeon saved Niane’s initial penalty kick attempt, but was shown a yellow card for coming off his line too soon, and Niane made no mistake with his second try.
Korea Republic desperately searched for the equaliser and found it at the last moment through Jisol’s glancing header at the near post eight minutes into stoppage time.
Bursting with confidence heading into extra time, the Taeguk Warriors seized control when Kangin played Cho Youngwook through with an expertly-weighted pass in the 96th minute.
Youngwook slotted the ball into the net to give Korea Republic the lead for the first time in the match.
Senegal refused to let up though, and were rewarded in the closing seconds of extra time.
Amadou Ciss picked out the bottom corner of the goal from the top of the box to send the game to penalty kicks.
Emblematic of the day’s performance, Korea Republic fell behind by missing their first two penalty kicks but battled back to advance to the semi-finals.
This was after Oh Sehun converted his side’s final attempt while Diagne’s effort for Senegal went over the crossbar.
Korea Republic will on Tuesday face Ecuador which had earlier on Saturday defeated the U.S. 2-1 to reach their first-ever semi-finals at a FIFA Under-20 World Cup.