FIFA World Cup 2022: It was another dramatic day in Qatar as South Korea defeated heavy favorites Portugal 2-1 to qualify for the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Friday. The drama did not end with victory as Korea’s fate hung on the outcome of the other. Group H match between Ghana and Uruguay.
After a wait of eight minutes or so, Korea celebrated again as they sealed a last-16 spot with Portugal, which despite losing, topped the group. It was a heartbreaking finish for Uruguay who beat Ghana 2-0 but missed the knockout bus on goals. Portugal finished with six points from three games, while Korea was second with four points.
Uruguay also finished the group stage with four points and a goal difference equal to zero with Korea, while South America’s two goals pipped the Asian side to four goals. Ghana finished last with three points. Portugal took the lead within five minutes with a goal by Ricardo Horta, but Korea kept their composure in their do-or-die match and Kim Young-Kwan scored the equalizer in the 27th minute.
With Uruguay already leading Ghana 2-0 at the halftime break, Korea needed a goal to progress in the second half. The winner came late in stoppage time from ‘Supersub’ Hwang Hee-chan who put Korea ahead of Uruguay in the knockout race. The Wolverhampton Wanderers forward scored the winner in the 91st minute at the Education City Stadium in Qatar, sparking confusion and tears among the Korean fans.
Talisman Son Heung-min, who set up the winner, collapsed to the ground and lay on his back on the turf at the final whistle. Tears welled in his eyes. A much-changed Portugal took the lead in the fifth minute through Ricardo Horta, but the Koreans, who needed a win to have any chance of staying alive, hit back through Kim Young-Kwan in the 27th minute.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo was involved in Correa’s equalizer, turning his back on a corner and the ball beating him to set up Kim. South Korea and their captain Sun, recovering from recent surgery, needed to score again but they failed to really trouble Portugal until Sun set up Hwang in injury time after a fine run.
Every time Ronaldo’s face appeared on the big screen at the Education City Stadium, even during the national anthems, there was a roar before a ball was kicked. There was also some gear and chants of “Messi, Messi”. South Korea coach Paulo Bento, a former Portuguese international, had to watch from the stands after he was sent off at the final whistle in the Koreans’ 3-2 loss to Ghana.
Defender Pepe Manchester United Full-Back. He saw his men fall behind just five minutes later when Diogo Dalotti played the ball down the right. Dalot easily evaded a feeble Korean challenge and headed the ball back from the byline to fire unmarked into the back of the net by winger Hort in front of 44,000 spectators.
With qualification already secured, Portugal made six changes to the team that beat Uruguay 2-0, with the signings Dalot and But they looked dangerous every time they went forward in the first half against Napoli’s Kim Min, who missed the Korean defense. J. South Korea captain Son, the Spurs forward, is yet to travel to this World Cup after undergoing surgery for a fracture around his left eye in early November.
He showed a glimpse. South Korea came out on top and equalized in the 27th minute. The 37-year-old Ronaldo, surely playing in his last World Cup, played an unwitting role in South Korea’s goal. Currently without a club following his bitter exit from Manchester United, the forward turned his back on the Korean at a corner and the ball bounced off his shoulder and straight at defender Kim.
The second half was more of the same — Portugal enjoying themselves more. Possessing the ball around and hitting but South Korea and the increasingly influential son of the threat in the break. Portugal coach Fernando Santos saved Ronaldo’s legs in 65 minutes, then the attacking Hwang came and proved to be a hero in the death.