In sheer dramatic fashion, Indonesia move closer to Olympic dream with stunning South Korea upset

Indonesia have continued their dream AFC U-23 Asian Cup debut by reaching the semifinals after seeing off South Korea with an exhilarating 11-10 penalty shootout triumph following a 2-2 extra-time draw between both teams. Zhizhao Wu/Getty Images

It was always going to be something quite special if Indonesia were to keep their dream AFC U-23 Asian Cup debut going, especially coming up against continental powerhouses South Korea in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

And so it proved to be the case.

With equal doses of footballing quality, tension, excitement and drama, Indonesia and South Korea served up something truly special.

After both teams could not be separated -- with a 2-2 draw the final score after 120 minutes-- they then combined for a marathon penalty shootout which saw a total of 24 efforts.

In the end, a shootout which lasted almost as long as the 30 minutes of extra-time would be won by Indonesia.

11-10, with both goalkeepers required to step up to the spot against one another, before the first couple of takers went around again.

While the result, on paper, is undeniably a massive upset, the actual contest was anything but a one-sided contest.

If anything, Indonesia probably should have sealed the win inside 90 minutes, especially after the South Koreans were reduced to ten men in the 70th minute after substitute Lee Young-Jun was given a straight red upon VAR review for planting his studs on the ankle of Ivar Jenner.

They certainly had been excellent value up to that point having showed no signs of being overawed by the occasion or the opposition standing in their way, even taking the lead after 15 minutes when Rafael Struick produced a stunning effort from the edge of the box to send a swerving effort into the top corner.

Indonesia were slightly unfortunate to concede an equaliser in the 45th minute when Eom Ji-Sung's attempt to send a header back across the box saw the ball ricochet off the head Indonesia defender Komang Teguh and past his own keeper Ernando Ari.

Refusing to be deterred, the Indonesians would reclaim the lead even before the break when Struick - in inspired form - capitalised on some hesitant defending to pounce on a loose ball inside the area and finish past Baek Jong-Bum.

Yet somehow, with a 2-1 lead and then the numerical advantage as well after Lee's dismissal, Indonesia went into their shells.

Part of that would be down to the fact that the South Koreans were now adopting a more conservative approach while looking to hit on the counterattack but, while they were now harder to break down, Indonesia also looked to take their foot off the pedal.

They still created enough chances -- and spurned several -- so it was only natural that they would be hit by a sucker punch with six minutes remaining, when they were carved apart by an electric counterattack that was neatly finished off by Jeong Sang-Bin.

With extra-time following, the Indonesians again looked tentative right until the final stages. As their renewed urgency failed to reap reward, it was then down to the shootout.

Of course, more drama was to follow.

At one stage, it looked as though only the five regulation penalties from each team would be required.

The South Koreans certainly though they had prevailed when goalkeeper Baek kept out the opposition's fifth effort from Justin Hubner.

But he was adjudged to have failed to keep the prerequisite one football on the goal-line, leading to a retake and a reprieve for Hubner as he got it right from 12 yards second time around.

Immediately after, Ernando saved from Kang Sang-Yoon to put Indonesia on the brink of the semis -- only for Arkhan Fikri to fire wide when the chance to become the hero was in his grasp.

The shootout would go on -- and on and on it went.

Until the 23rd spot-kick of a seemingly endless tie, when Ernando produced a second fine stop to deny Lee Kang-Hee.

Where Arkhan had failed to capitalise, Pratama Arhan made no mistake in putting his name in lights.

Somehow, Indonesia had done brilliantly to look a real chance of causing a massive upset in regulation time.

Then, somehow again, they really had to dig deep to do so by prevailing in thrilling fashion.

If the magnitude of the feat was not clear enough yet, this is their U-23 Asian Cup debut. And in South Korea, they have defeated a team that have qualified for the men's football tournament at the past nine Olympic Games dating back to 1988.

South Korea will not be in Paris this year. They had to reach the last four of the U-23 Asian Cup in order to stand a chance.

In quite incredible fashion, it is Indonesia who now have that opportunity.