GUANGZHOU, China (AFP) - Three-time champions South Korea dealt another bodyblow to Chinese football with an impressive 3-0 win in the Asian Games last 16 on Monday.
After struggling into the knockout stages, China were no match for the cultured and talented Koreans who now go on to face Uzbekistan for a place in the semi-finals.
"We scored an early goal which meant we were going to win," said South Korea coach Hong Myung-Bo.
"The Chinese fans who were supporting China before the match began to support us towards the end."
South Korea had dominated the first half and could have gone in at the break at least three goals up.
They had taken the lead after 19 minutes when a swift break down the left forced the stretched Chinese defence to furiously back-pedal.
Cho Young-Cheol was left in plenty of space to gather the cross and slot the ball across to Kim Jung-Woo to score past Zhang Shichang in the China goal.
Zhang then saved well from Park Chu-Young and Kim Bo-Kyung to keep the deficit down to one goal at the interval.
But even Zhang was powerless to keep out the second goal, scored by Monaco's Park Chu-Young with a curling free-kick around the defensive wall four minutes into the second half.
South Korea were now unstoppable and Kim Jung-Woo scored his second of the night after 57 minutes when he nipped between two defenders to slot home Ji Dong-Won's smart pass.
China searched for a way back in but both Wang Xuanhong and Li Kai seeing efforts going wide.
The defeat comes at the worst possible time for China whose national team failed to qualify for the World Cup and whose under-23 team here had failed to win a single match before home fans at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Meanwhile, Qatar's Fahad Khalfan joined the ranks of football's greatest blunders when he missed an open goal from one yard as the defending champions crashed out.
The 18-year-old had pounced on Uzbekistan goalkeeper Timur Juraev's error in the first period of extra-time.
The Qatari then dribbled the ball to the front of the goal, before incredibly stabbing his left-foot shot against the post, leaving his teammates stunned and the teenager shell-shocked.
Uzbekistan made the most of their lifeline with Ivan Nagaev grabbing the winner in the 23rd minute of extra-time.
Four-time champions Iran beat a depleted Malaysia 3-1 to make the quarter-finals where they will face Oman who trounced Hong Kong 3-0.
Iran used the experience to good effect against a Malaysian side making its first appearance in the second round since 1978.
Malaysia came into the game in crisis after three players were sent off in their stormy 3-0 defeat to China in their final group game.
The Iranians got the breakthrough in the 53rd minute when Karim Ansari Fard picked the ball up on the edge of the box and rifled it past the diving goalkeeper.
Seyed Hosseini made it 2-0 seven minutes later before Amir Sharafi added a third as Iran ran their opponents ragged. Malaysia got a consolation penalty four minutes from time but it was too little too late.
Ali Farah Hadhri Hussian scored Oman's first on the half hour and he added another in the second half before Aman Bait Nasib put the game beyond Hong Kong's reach with a third on 68 minutes.
|´He is doing a fantastic job´ – Bartomeu backs Luis Enrique|
|Guardiola slams ´unacceptable´ Wenger treatment|
|Spalletti: Roma goal machine Dzeko now believes he´s world class|
|Emery refuses to blame referee after PSG are held|
|Montella dedicates AC Milan win to Berlusconi|
|The players don´t need whistles – Luis Enrique hits out at fans|
|Brazilian game called off due to TV dispute|
|Chelsea are already Premier League champions, says United boss Mourinho|
|Barcelona 2 Leganes 1: Late Messi penalty spares Ter Stegen´s blushes|
|Paris Saint-Germain 0 Toulouse 0: Champions spill valuable points|
|AC Milan 2 Fiorentina 1: Deulofeu strike keeps European hopes alive|
|Attitude got Man United through - Mourinho|
|Roma 4 Torino 1: Dzeko strikes again|
|Lincoln face Sutton or Arsenal in FA Cup quarter-finals, Chelsea host Man United|
|Neuer slams Jarstein after brawl|
|Blackburn Rovers 1 Manchester United 2: Substitutes Pogba and Ibrahimovic combine for late winner|
|Inter insist Perisic going nowhere, rule out move for Verratti|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 1 RB Leipzig 2: Forsberg and Werner reignite title bid|
|Training-ground meetings paid dividends - Pochettino|
|I´m trying to find a team - Berbatov open to offers|
|Inspired by Zeman´s return, Pescara hammer Genoa 5-0|
|Gabigol wants to make history after Inter breakthrough|
|Chievo 1 Napoli 3: Sarri´s men bounce back from Champions League disappoitment|
|Alfonso Perez calls for Pique to quit international football over political beliefs|
|Benatia refuses to question Allegri´s decisions|
|Fulham 0 Tottenham 3: Kane hat-trick fires Spurs into quarter-finals|
|Oblak return boosts Atletico ahead of Leverkusen trip|
|Gabigol and Inter ready to feast on success after late winner|
|Bologna 0 Inter 1: Gabigol gets belated lift-off in Serie A|
|Still no Mascherano or Arda for Barcelona|
|Bielsa appointed Lille boss from next season|
|Janssen determined to make the grade at Tottenham|
|Stones missing Kompany influence at Manchester City - Ferdinand|
|Central Coast Mariners 0 Melbourne Victory 3: Muscat´s men cruise to win|
|David Villa sent off after video replay|
|Favre not blaming Balotelli for latest red card|
|´It is my future at stake´ – Isco could leave Real Madrid|
|Smalling desperate for Ibrahimovic stay|
|´He will be here for sure´ - Mourinho rules out Shaw exit|
|Wenger not ready for retirement, wants Arsenal stay|
|Pogba will soon look cheap, claims Manchester United boss Mourinho|
|Casilla defends under-fire Navas|
|Isco ´happy and committed´ at Real Madrid – Zidane|
|Middle finger gesture was because I was spat at - Ancelotti|
|Leicester must learn from Millwall´s ´gladiators´ – Ranieri|
|Sevilla 2 Eibar 0: Sampaoli´s side move up to second|
|Lorient 0 Nice 1: Balotelli sent off as visitors go second|
|Too early to talk about Chelsea double – Conte|
|Conte delighted with Chelsea´s fringe players|
|Foreign players don´t expect cup upsets – Terry|
|Bale eyes top form and titles after scoring on Real Madrid comeback|
|Watzke received death threats after Leipzig match|
|Wolves 0 Chelsea 2: Pedro and Costa send Conte´s men through|
|Zidane reveals what he whispered to Bale before comeback goal|
|Dardai hits out at ´Bayern bonus´ after late equaliser|
|Ancelotti adamant Bayern deserved controversial equaliser|
|Ronaldo was not getting anxious, insists Zidane|
|Kompany injury not serious, says Manchester City boss Guardiola|
|Kompany injury not serious, says Manchester City boss Guardiola|
|Ranieri: 10-man Millwall were better than us|
|Piszczek represents everything Borussia Dortmund stand for - Tuchel|
|Championship Review: Brighton back top, Wednesday capitalise on Norwich slip|
|´Vamosss!!!´ - Bale ecstatic after scoring on Real Madrid return|
|Favourites tag weighed heavily on Burnley in Lincoln loss, says Dyche|
|Simeone delighted with Gameiro´s ruthless cameo|
|Millwall 1 Leicester City 0: Cummings wins it for 10-man Lions|
|Middlesbrough 3 Oxford United 2: Stuani rescues Boro after minute of mayhem|
|Real Madrid 2 Espanyol 0: Bale scores on comeback as hosts extend lead|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Manchester City 0: No pep from Guardiola´s men in cup stalemate|
|Hertha Berlin 1 Bayern Munich 1: Lewandowski rescues champions with last kick|
|Barton denies trying to force Rhead red and accuses Lincoln of play-acting|
|Borussia Dortmund 3 Wolfsburg 0: Piszczek stars with Yellow Wall absent|
|Cowley brothers marvel at Lincoln´s FA Cup heroics|
|Violence in the stands mars Tigres victory|
|Raggett ´lost for words´ after sending Lincoln into FA Cup quarter-finals|
|Gameiro dedicates hat-trick to grandmother|
|Burnley 0 Lincoln City 1: Raggett puts non-league heroes in FA Cup dreamland|
|Gameiro hits fastest LaLiga hat-trick in 22 years|
|Big-money signing Krychowiak to play with PSG reserves|
|Sporting Gijon 1 Atletico Madrid 4: Stunning Gameiro hat-trick snatches victory|
|A-League Review: Derby defeat for Sydney, Melbourne City cruise to victory|
|Barcelona results ´irrelevant´ to Luis Enrique´s future|
|Montella backs Donnarumma for Ballon d´Or|
|Bournemouth congratulate Arter on birth of daughter|
|Loftus-Cheek confident his Chelsea chance will come|
|Rashford still part of Mourinho´s plans - Brown|
|Klopp confirms Liverpool transfer plans are already underway|
|No chance of Jesus joining Inter, says agent|
|Dani Alves: If anyone can come back, it´s the Barcelona machines|
|Purslow stepping down from Chelsea role|
|Redknapp: Tottenham will win Premier League within four years|
|Buffon one of the greatest of all time - Casillas|
|Winning over happiness for Chelsea´s Conte|
|Manchester City can still win Premier League - Gundogan|
|Ferdinand backs Keane to re-sign with United like Pogba|
|Pochettino: Janssen must do more at Tottenham|
|Marotta: Juve signing Verratti unrealistic|
|Guardiola: I will never return to Barcelona|
|Allegri jokes ´how is my English?´ as Arsenal rumours intensify|
|We did not play well – Juventus hero Dybala fires Porto warning|