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S. Korea Reaches World Cup Quarterfinals


South Korea, co-host of the World Cup football finals, stunned Italy in extra time 2-1 Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals.

The Koreans partied late into the early hours of Wednesday, after their team rallied to tie Italy at 1-1 in the closing minutes of regulation play and then scored a "golden goal" in the closing minutes of extra time to win their second round match.

The Koreans had never before reached the second round, and now they are through to the quarterfinals.

There was major disappointment for the home side early in the match in Daejeon, when Ahn Jung Hwan had a penalty kick in the fifth minute blocked.

Christian Vieri scored in the 18th minute to give the Italians the lead, which they held until the 88th minute when Seol Ki Hyeon equalized for South Korea.

The match went into extra time tied at 1-1 and looked like it might be decided by a penalty shootout. But Ahn made up for his earlier miss and scored the game-winner for Korea in the 117th minute.

That sent fans all over the country into celebration. Tens-of-thousands gathered in the plaza to watch the match on huge video screens and cheer together. Calling the game "awesome," Korean fan So Yong-Won said "I cheered my national team, the Korean national team. So powerful. You just wanted to start crying."

And with South Korea's shocking 2-1 victory over Italy, the football team from one of the host countries moves into the World Cup quarterfinals to face Spain on Saturday in Gwangju.

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