Roberto Mancini's streak continues.
Jürgen Klinsmann's South Korea national soccer team faced Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 of the Qatar Asian Cup at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, at 1:00 a.m. ET on June 31.
It was a 'cliffhanger' match with no tomorrow. The interest was intense. The stadium was packed with 42,389 fans. Fans from Qatar's neighboring Saudi Arabia traveled to the stadium in green waves. It's a five-hour drive from Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, to Doha. It's not too much of a stretch. A heated off-field battle
Saudi fans provoked the Koreans after the round of 16 was finalized. It didn't matter if it was in a stadium, on the street, or in the subway. They asked people, "Are you Korean?" and performed excessive actions. Some behaviors crossed the line. According to Korean fans on the scene, some Saudi Arabian fans sexually harassed and molested Koreans.
The highlight came on game day. Saudi fans gathered near the soccer field more than three hours before kickoff, chanting "Saudi Arabia" and confident of victory. Their rude behavior continued during the game. They booed during the national anthem. They showed no respect for their opponents. "I think we might have been at a bit of a disadvantage in terms of the atmosphere in the stadium. I think there will be about 30,000 Saudi soccer fans in the stadium," Klinsmann warned.
The Saudi fans went wild in the first minute of the second half. They hugged and cheered, but then the mood subsided when Cho Kyu-sung equalized in second-half stoppage time. The game went to extra time and then penalty kicks. Son Heung-min was the first South Korean kicker to step up. The Saudi fans booed him. They waved their hands in a distracting gesture. 안전놀이터 South Korea was unfazed. Son Heung-min, Kim Young-kwon, Cho Kyu-sung, and Hwang Hee-chan converted in quick succession. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, had their third and fourth kickers miss in quick succession. Cho Hyun-woo came up big again.
It was the moment. Mancini didn't even look at the kick from Korea's fourth kicker, Hwang Hee-chan, as he packed up and left the field. He never looked back as he walked into the locker room. Mancini had earlier missed the official press conference ahead of the group stage match against Oman. He was disciplined by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).