South Korea grabs dramatic stoppage time win to reach last 16
South Korea scored in the 91st minute to beat Portugal 2-1 and secure themselves a spot in the last 16 of the World Cup in the most dramatic fashion.
They finished Group H level on points and goal difference with Uruguay but went through ahead of Uruguay based on goals scored, as they scored three group stage goals to Uruguay’s two.
Wolves striker Hwang Hee-chan scored the winner as he was set up by Heung-min Son and slotted home.
Portugal had taken the lead through Horta but Kim Young-gwon scored a superb equalizer before half time.
South Korea have reached the last 16 of the World Cup for just the second time since their legendary run to the semifinals as hosts in 2002 and just the third time in their history.
Portugal won Group H as Fernando Santos rotated his lineup and they weren’t too bothered with the result. South Korea are now all but certain to face Brazil in the last 16.
Son and South Korea get what they deserve
They lost to Ghana 3-2 despite pummelling their Group H opponents and were very good against Uruguay but drew and finally they got the win they needed, and deserved. South Korea’s dramatic last-gasp win against Portugal was the stuff of legends as Son and Hwang Hee-chan combined for the latter to coolly slot home. How he kept that cool in that scenario is crazy as the whole of South Korea held their breath, then roared in jubilation. This team have huffed and puffed and have never given up and right at the end of the group stage they got what they deserved. After the euphoria of this win, you wouldn’t bet against Son and Co. to pull off a huge upset and knock Brazil out of the World Cup, would you? This result proved a valuable lesson, one which has been repeated time and time again in this tournament: never, ever give up.
Stars of the show
Heung-min Son: Delivered an amazing late assist on the winner and that was the difference. His class in the final third was always going to shine through in the end and he’s been trying so hard to be the main man for South Korea. Now he has his moment.
Diogo Dalot: Fine display and picked up an assist as the Man United right back continues his excellent resurgence.
How to watch South Korea vs Portugal live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET - Friday, December 2Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al RayyanTV channels en Español: TelemundoStreaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)
Key storylines, players to watch closely
Obviously the stage is set for Heung-min Son. He is a hero in his homeland and he’s worked so hard to be fit for this tournament after the nasty facial injury but looks out of sorts on the left. Perhaps he can moved inside or slightly deeper to get on the ball more? Cho Gue-sung scored two beauties against Ghana and if South Korea can put more quality deliveries into the box, they will cause problems. They simply have to go all-out for the win and that approach saw them deliver their best play of the tournament in the second half against Ghana. However, South Korea’s Portuguese coach Paulo Bento was sent off at the end of that disappointing defeat to Ghana as he was unhappy with a late corner not being allowed as the final whistle was blown. He will miss this game through suspension.
For Portugal it’s about resting key players and warming up for their last 16 clash. Winning the group is essential as that means they would face one of Serbia, Switzerland or Cameroon in the last 16 rather than Brazil. It is very unlikely Portugal won’t finish top, but it could happen. Basically, Ghana would have to win big to overturn a three-goal difference by beating Uruguay and Portugal would also have to lose against South Korea. It could happen but Fernando Santos can rotate his team and still have so much quality on the pitch as Goncalo Ramos, Diogo Dalot, Matheus Nunes and Rafael Leao could all start.
South Korea quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 28
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 10
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Paulo Bento
Key players: Heung-min Son, Young-gwon Kim, In-beom Hwang, Woo-yeong Jeong
Portugal quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 9
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs
Coach: Fernando Santos
Key players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo