In a dramatic end to Group H, Hwang Hee-chan scored a stoppage-time winner to overcome Portugal 2-1 and advance South Korea to the World Cup’s last 16 at the expense of Uruguay.
The Taeguk Warriors appeared to be on their way out, with Uruguay leading Ghana elsewhere, but Hwang scored late to make an astonishing comeback.
Ricardo Horta put Portugal up early on, but they failed to heed the warning provided by Kim Jin-disallowed su’s goal soon after, with Kim Young-gwon bringing South Korea back into the game.
Portugal, who had already won the group, coasted through the second half, and South Korea capitalized, with Hwang scoring the critical strike to cause chaos and send Uruguay packing.
South Korea’s shaky start hinted they were there for the taking, with Horta scoring with a simple finish after Diogo Dalot breezed past Kim Jin-su and cut the ball back.
12 minutes later, Kim Jin-su scored what appeared to be the equalizer, tapping in on the rebound after Diogo Costa stopped Cho Gue-header, sung’s but it was ruled out for offside.
However, Portugal’s lead was erased before the half-hour mark as Kim Young-gwon tapped in from a corner.
A largely poor second half appeared to be winding down.
But then captain Son Heung-min sprinted towards the Portugal goal, waited for assistance, and calmly supplied Hwang through a defender’s legs, Hwang blasting past Costa in spectacular fashion.
What does it imply? South Korea’s incredible escape
South Korea deserves credit for their ruthlessness, despite the fact that their attacking performance was not spectacular.
They upset Germany on matchday three-four years ago, knocking the then-holders out of Russia 2018, but it didn’t matter because they were already out.
This time, though, they could bask in the glory of a stunning victory and advancement. Portugal won the group, but this was all about South Korea, with the Taeguk Warriors triumphing even with their coach, Paulo Bento, suspended in the stands.
Congratulations, Son is sobbing (happy tears)
Throughout, he huffed and puffed. At times, he could be accused of attempting to do it all and being agitated, but his poise and talent were critical for the victors.
Son and his teammates then waited anxiously on the field, watching the last phases of Uruguay against Ghana on mobile phones, before they could safely celebrate an incredible achievement.
What comes next?
Portugal advances as section champions, which means they will face the Group G runners-up, which may be any of the four countries involved, though Brazil is the least likely. South Korea is carrying them out, most likely on Tite’s side.