The South Korean men's water polo team got their first victory at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, defeating New Zealand 17 to 16 on Tuesday after their match went to a penalty shootout.
Despite losing all four of their previous matches by a combined score of 15 to 89, the South Koreans jumped into the water with their heads up high.
Team Korea struck first, scoring the first goal of the match less than a minute into the first quarter.
The Kiwis stormed right back, finding the back of the net twice within the next two minutes.
But the South Korean players were not about to surrender.
"During our last match, there were times when we lost the lead. But we came together to never give up until the end. We said, 'we know we can do this. If we don't give up until the final bell rings, we can win this.'"
After eleven lead changes in four nail-biting quarters, the two teams were tied at twelve each.
Then in the penalty shootout, Team Korea's goalkeeper Lee Jin-woo made the vital save, stopping New Zealand's second penalty, and Team Korea won the shootout by 5 goals to 4.
The victory came in South Korea's first ever time competing in water polo at the FINA World Championships. The unranked team entered the tournament as South Korea is the host nation.
Hoping that Tuesday's victory would spark more interest in the sport, Team Korea is already looking towards the future.
"What's important is that we have the Olympic qualifications next February. As Japan is the host nation, we need to get past Kazakhstan and China to get to the Olympics. We are going to put in our utmost efforts to do that."
Team Korea finished the competition ranked 15th out of 16, but its first ever victory at the world championships will go down in Korean sporting history.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News