Hwang Hee-Chan scored a stoppage-time winner as South Korea grabbed a shock 2-1 victory over Portugal to qualify for World Cup knockouts.
Head to Head
Portugal and South Korea last met in the 2002 World Cup, with South Korea winning by a lone goal and eliminating Portugal from the tournament.
Meanwhile, that was Portugal’s first defeat in their five games against Asian opponents, having won three and drawing one.
Against European opponents, South Korea have had a poor performance winning one, drawing one, and losing five in all seven meetings.
Portugal have won their two group matches. They opened their World Cup campaign with a win against Ghana and Uruguay. South Korea drew with Uruguay before losing to Ghana in the second game.
South Korea made three changes to the squad that lost to Ghana, with Kwon, Lee Kang-in, and Lee making the starting lineup. Portugal made enormous changes to the squad that won against Uruguay. Dalot, Silva, Nunes, Vitinha, Mario, and Horta all made it to the starting lineup
South Korea: Kim Seung-gyu; Kim Moon-hwan, Kwon Kyung-won, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Jin-su; Jung Woo-young, Hwang In-beom; Lee Kang-in, Lee Jae-sung, Son Heung-min; Cho Gue-sung.
Portugal: Diogo Costa; Diogo Dalot, Pepe, Antonio Silva, Joao Cancelo; Matheus Nunes, Ruben Neves, Vitinha; Joao Mario, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Horta.
First Half Report
The first half began with Portugal maintaining a more balanced and comfortable ball possession.
They dominated play and frequently launched attacks looking for an early goal.
Five minutes into the game, the Portuguese pulled the curtain raiser with Horta with the goal.
Dalot had picked his pace to the byline and sent a pass to Horta from the edge of the six-yard box. Horta delivers a wonderful strike into the far corner to give the team the lead.
It was Portugal’s first attempt on goal. The South Koreans then faced a tedious task to overturn the deficit to stand any chance of making it to the round of 16.
After conceding the goal, Bento signaled for a massive attack committing more players upfront.
As the game progressed, South Korea lost the midfield to Portugal, as the 2016 European champions continued to dominate the game despite taking the lead.
The Asians relied on their wingers to penetrate Portugal’s backline, but Diogo Dalot and Joao Cancelo were equal to the task.
It was still Portugal leading as the game approached the half-hour mark. The Koreans rarely break through the Portuguese defence when having the ball.
However, their first clear chance came in the 27th minute following a corner kick, and they made it count. Kim Young-gwon converted the corner kick with a nice volley to level the game for Asians.
The Koreans seemed to have a bit of control over possession after the goal, but it was short-lived as Portugal quickly won back the ball and continued their dominant display.
The first half ended with both sides settling for a 1-1 draw.
Second Half Report
The second half began with Portugal attacking a bit faster than in the first half. South Korea equally pressed harder to have the ball with little success.
It was still Portugal dominating play and making an intense effort to return to the lead. The Koreans depended on breaking through speedy counterattacks to launch offensives.
The scoreline still stood on a 1-1 draw with over 60 minutes played. Both sides failed to find the net and created fewer chances.
It was the high point of the game in the 90+1st minute. Hwang Hee-Chan scored a stoppage-time goal to give South Korea a surprise lead.
All efforts by the Portuguese to equalise failed. The game finally ended with South Korea qualifying for the next round of the World Cup with a shock 2-1 win over Portugal.