Skip to main content
Best News Website or Mobile Service
 
WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Best News Website or Mobile Service
 
Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Hamburger Menu

Advertisement

Advertisement

Sport

South Korea qualify for World Cup knockout stage after coming from behind to beat Portugal

South Korea are the third team from the Asian Football Confederation to make it to this year's World Cup knockout stage after coming from a goal down to beat Portugal 2-1.

South Korea qualify for World Cup knockout stage after coming from behind to beat Portugal

South Korea players celebrate after the World Cup Group H match between South Korea and Portugal at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Dec 2, 2022. (Photo: AP/Francisco Seco)

AL RAYYAN, Qatar: It didn’t matter if it was a screamer, a header, or even a tap-in.

All South Korea needed was one goal to seal their spot in the World Cup Round of 16.

With hopes flagging and players fading, Paulo Bento's side snatched a dramatic winner in stoppage time to edge out fancied Portugal 2-1 on Friday (Dec 2).

A sensational run from Son Heung-min saw him play in substitute Hwang Hee-chan, who coolly slotted home, sending South Korean fans into a frenzy.

In the other Group H match played simultaneously with this fixture, Uruguay beat Ghana 2-0.

Uruguay's result meant that South Korea needed a one-goal victory to put them level on points and goal difference with the South American side, and progress having scored more goals in the group stage.

The results left Portugal top of Group H, with South Korea finishing second.

South Korea's Hwang Hee-chan scores his side's second goal during the World Cup Group H match between South Korea and Portugal on Dec 2, 2022. (Photo: AP/Darko Bandic)

COMING FROM A GOAL DOWN

The announcement of the starting line-ups before the game began saw the loudest roars reserved for 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo.

The widespread adulation extended through the stands with eyeballs and phones glued to the former Manchester United man’s every move.

But it was a current Red Devils player who helped put the ninth-ranked Portugal ahead with just five minutes played. A rampaging Diogo Dalot burst forward, cut inside his man and squared the ball for Ricardo Horta to curl home.

Portugal's Ricardo Horta, centre, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup Group H match between South Korea and Portugal on Dec 2, 2022. (Photo: AP/Darko Bandic)

Despite going behind, South Korea looked positive. They had the ball in the back of the net in the 16th minute, but Kim Jin-su was judged to have been offside when he tapped the ball in.

Their dominance eventually paid off in the 27th minute, as Kim Young-gwon bundled home off a corner after poor Portuguese defending.

The goal roused Fernando Santos’ Portugal from their slumber, and a dangerous drive from the impressive Dalot was pushed away in the 34th minute.

Ronaldo then spurned a glorious chance to equalise after a Vitinha shot was pushed away by South Korean keeper Kim Sueng-gyu, only for the Portuguese skipper to head wide.

This year's World Cup had started so promisingly for the 28th-ranked South Koreans. They gained a creditable point in their opening game against Uruguay, who are ranked 14th in the world and were semi-finalists in 2010 and quarter-finalists in 2018. 

But Bento's men crumbled against Ghana, losing the game and their composure as their opponents ran out 3-2 winners.

South Korea's Kim Young-gwon, second from right, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal against Portugal on Dec 2, 2022. (Photo: AP/Hassan Ammar)

LOOKING FOR A WINNER

The second half started with the same frenetic energy as the first 45 minutes, with Son and Ronaldo both coming close.

Ronaldo’s night ended in the 64th minute as he was replaced by Andre Silva. Minutes later, South Korea appealed in vain for a penalty as a Son shot was blocked by a Portuguese player, but they ended up with only a corner instead.

Then came Hwang’s historic moment in the 91st minute. Son rushed forward in a counter attack after a Portugal corner, before slipping in Hwang, who finished past keeper Diogo Costa.

South Korean fans waited with bated breath for Uruguay's game to finish, with stoppage time yet to be played in the other Group H match after theirs ended. 

After a nail-biting wait, huge roars confirmed South Korea's place in the round of 16, as Uruguay had failed to score the one more goal needed to take them through.

It means South Korea became the third side from the Asian Football Confederation to make the knockout stage of this year's World Cup, after Japan's stunning win over Spain. 

South Korea have done the impossible and will live to fight another day.

Group H Played Win Draw Lose GD Pts
Portugal 3 2 0 1 2 6
South Korea 3 1 1 1 0 4
Uruguay 3 1 1 1 0 4
Ghana 3 1 0 2 -2 3
South Korea's team players celebrate after the World Cup group H soccer match between South Korea and Portugal, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec 2, 2022. (Photo: AP/Darko Bandic)
Catch free highlights and moments from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at mewatch.sg/fifaworldcup.
Source: CNA/nh(mi/gr)

Advertisement

Also worth reading

Advertisement