Honduras tops Korea Republic for Olympic semifinal berth

Honduras' Alberth Elis (left) celebrates after scoring against Korea Republic in the Men's Olympic Football Tournament quarterfinals on August 13, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)


BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil -- Honduras earned a place in the final four of a Men's Olympic Football Tournament for the first time thanks to a 1-0 win over Korea Republic in the quarterfinals on Saturday at the Estadio Mineirao.

Alberth Elis scored the only goal in the second half off Romell Quioto’s lightning-fast counterattack, while goalkeeper Luis Lopez was called upon to a series of tremendous saves, including a pair near the end of the first half that thwarted the active Son Heungmin.

In the 60th minute, Honduras got the goal it needed. Quioto gained possession 30-yards from his own goal and charged up the field to within 30 yards of the Korean net. As a trailing defender attempted to tap the ball away, Quioto slid a pass to his right for a completely unmarked Elis, who calmly slotted past goalkeeper Gu Sungyun with his right foot from 14-yards out.

The Hondurans, which was eliminated at the quarterfinal stage four years ago, will next travel to Rio de Janeiro for a semifinal encounter at the Estadio Maracana against host Brazil, which got past Colombia, 2-0.