Agonising defeat for Great Britain in Japan
Last Updated: 09/11/12 8:43am
Great Britain suffered a heartbreaking 5-4 defeat to South Korea after penalty shots in the opening match of their Winter Olympics pre-qualification tournament in Japan.
Britain, who earned one point, let slip a two-goal lead three times before Colin Shields and David Longstaff - on his 99th international cap - missed in the shoot-out.
Craig Peacock and Longstaff (powerplay) had put Tony Hand's men 2-0 up inside five minutes and Ben O'Connor restored their two-goal cushion by the end of the first period after Kim Won-jung had pulled one back.
Kim scored again to pull Korea to within one once more only for Shields to open up a two-goal margin for a third time.
But Kim, with his hat-trick, and Geunho Kim made it 4-4 to force overtime, which failed to find a winner.
It went to a shoot-out, with Shields and Longstaff missing for GB and Kim Sang-wook and Cho Min-ho successful for Korea.
Hand said: "We started brilliantly and got a great start with some great goals. Korea never gave up and are a very dangerous team. I thought we took it to them in the third period and were unlucky not to score.
"They guys played their hearts out and everyone back home should be very proud of them. We had great chances to win it in overtime but it was not to be. I am very proud of them and we are still very much alive in this tournament."
Britain play their second game against Romania on Saturday and victory - plus a win for hosts Japan against Korea in Saturday's other game - would mean a winners-takes-all clash between GB and Japan on Sunday.