A combative Korea reaches the round of 16 with final madness
The Asians get into the next round with a goal in discount against Portugal that unleashed the madness of Paulo Bento’s men
MADRID, Dec. 2 (.) –
South Korea beat Portugal (2-1) this Friday with a hard-fought victory and a goal in discount to, after Uruguay’s 0-2 victory over Ghana, reach the round of 16 ten years later, qualifying as second in the last day of Group H of the World Cup in Qatar.
The team coached by Paulo Bento, who watched the match in the stands, came back from behind the first goal of a Portugal that introduced nine changes, with a Cristiano who played his twentieth game in a World Cup. The Korean joy came in the added time of the second half, when everything seemed to be lost, but the figure of Heung-Min Son emerged in time to assist Hwang Hee-Chan in the 2-1. It is the first time that three teams from the Asian Confederation have qualified for the round of 16 -Australia, Japan and Korea-.
With no time for the typical scoring, Portugal and its ‘B’ unit started on the right foot and directed their full goal with an early goal from Horta, who safely finished off a serve from behind Diogo Dalot, in a combination of Portuguese squad and bevel. The goal lowered the enthusiasm of the Asians, who, however, were able to equalize on a lateral free kick with a shot that Digo Costa took off with reflexes and Kim Jing Su pushed the ball on the rebound, but it was offside.
This woke up the Koreans and in a corner kick they regained faith in the form of a tie, after the ball hit Cristiano Ronaldo’s back, leaving the ball free to Kim Young-Gwon who ‘shot’ Costa in the area small. They were only one goal away from being a team in the round of 16. Halfway through the first half, the Portuguese ‘7’ tried to get even with a clear chance in a one-on-one against Seung-Gyu Kim, but his position was illegal.
Portugal stretched with a distant shot from Diogo Dalot after receiving a long ball, taking advantage of the depth of their full-backs as their best resource up to that moment. And, after South Korea enjoyed a couple of opportunities, Cristiano Ronaldo was able to increase the lead by picking up a rebound of a shot from Vitinha, with no luck on his somewhat forced header.
After a first part marked by the efficiency and the ‘hitting’ of both teams, Portugal began owning the ball with eternal possessions that ended up despairing Korea. Cristiano Ronaldo was able to make it 1-2, but he missed his shot inside the area, from an advanced position. Korea took refuge in transitions, with a Son attacking space and with a finishing potion on more than one occasion, without luck.
The game went into a few soporific minutes, in no man’s land and without dangerous occasions. Paulo Bento, from the stands, and Fernando Santos moved the bench after the hour of play to revitalize a somewhat inanimate match. A Cristiano Ronaldo who continues to resist his ninth goal in World Cups has retired, still without reaching the Portuguese star Eusébio.
The last quarter of an hour went back and forth, although without excessive suffering for Portugal, and with Korea overturned, but without the physical and technical capacity to convert the comeback goal. The Asian heart and faith could not cope with a Portuguese team that anesthetized the match at the end with endless possessions.
But the madness had reserved a chapter for the discount of the match, when Son led a quick transition and, surrounded by three rivals in the front, invented a magnificent assist so that
Hwang Hee-Chan will finish inside the area at the first touch and give Korea a historic victory. This both put the Asian team in second place, which will play its third round of 16 in its history.
–RESULT: SOUTH KOREA, 2 – PORTUGAL, 1 (1-1, at halftime).
SOUTH KOREA: Seung-Gyu; Moon-Hwan, Young-Gwon (Jun-Ho Son, min.81), Kyung-Won, Jin-Su; Woo-Young, In-Beom; Jae-Sung (Hee-Chan Hwang, min.66), Kang-In Lee, Son Heung-Min; and Gue-Sung (Yu-Min Cho, min.93).
PORTUGAL: Coast; Dalot, Pepe, Antonio Silva, Cancelo; Nunes (Palhinha, min.65), Neves (Leao, min.65), Vitinha (Carvalho, min.82); Joao Mário (Bernardo Silva, min.82); Ronaldo (André Silva, min.65) and Horta.
0-1 min. 5: Horta.
1-1 min. 27: Young-Gwon Kim.
2-1 min. 91: Hwang Hee-Chan.
–REFEREE: Facundo Tello (ARG). He admonished Kang-In Lee (min.36) and
Hwang Hee-Chan (min.92), in South Korea.
–STADIUM: Education City Stadium.