QATAR: South Korea advanced to the knockout rounds in an unlikely manner thanks to a remarkable late winner against Portugal.
South Korea’s blazing victory clears the path for the upcoming rounds
Asian team found itself in a precarious situation in the match. At one stage, South Korea could not find the goal they desperately needed to qualify for the knockout stages.
Hwang Hee-Chan showed up in the critical moment with a goal during injury time to put his side ahead after Kim Young Gwon scored the equaliser following Ricardo Horta’s opener.
Uruguay beat Ghana 2-0 in the other Group H match and appeared certain to advance for much of the evening, but could not make it through to the knockouts. South Korea and Uruguay finished their group games on level points. However, South Korea had the upper hand due to a superior goal difference.
Standing in for suspended Paulo Bento, South Korea assistant coach Sergio Costa said that his team was happy and that the squad deserved the knockout spot after the superb showing in the three Group H games.
He dedicated the victory to the South Korean fans rooting for the team back at home. Costa added that after a little celebration, the team would focus on its next opponent, which will be decided from the games later on Friday.
Horta scored in his major tournament debut, turning home after good work from Diogo Dalot down the right side in the fifth minute to give Portugal an early lead.
In the 17th minute, South Korea had the ball in the net, but Kim Jin-Su scored from close range after Diogo Costa made a great save. However, the referee called it an offside and disallowed the goal.
In the 27th minute, after a corner kick off Cristiano Ronaldo, Kim Gwon steered a loose ball past Costa, and the underdogs scored the equalizer.
When Son Heung-Min led a brilliant counterattack from a Portugal corner expertly finished by Hwang, they scored the winning goal.