Slugger Lee Seung-yuop hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning and the top-seeded South Koreans beat Japan 6-2 on Friday to reach the gold-medal game and stay perfect in the Beijing Games.
Japan reliever Hitoki Iwase allowed a leadoff single to Lee Yong-kyu to start the inning and quickly received a mound visit from manager Senichi Hoshino. After striking out Kim Hyun-soo, Lee delivered the South Koreans' most timely hit yet.
Yoon Suk-min pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and met catcher Kang Min-ho between the mound and home plate and jumped into a celebratory embrace. Their teammates weren't far behind.
The South Koreans (8-0) will play Saturday night at Wukesong Stadium against the winner of Friday's late semifinal between defending Olympic champion and second-seeded Cuba or the No. 3 United States squad.