Last gasp winner against Portugal takes South Korea into last 16
South Korea scored a spectacular stoppage-time goal against Portugal to advance to the knockout stages in dramatic fashion.
Hwang Hee-chan scored in the first minute of injury time to advance South Korea to the round of 16 on goals scored, after Kim Young-gwon had equalised following Ricardo Horta’s opening goal had given Portugal the lead.
Despite topping Ghana 2-0 in the second Group H match and looked certain to advance for the majority of the evening, Uruguay were eliminated from the tournament as a result of this victory.
“We’re very happy, we deserved it for everything we did in the three games,” South Korea assistant coach Sergio Costa, standing in for suspended boss Paulo Bento, said. “We dedicate this victory to all the South Korean people who support us a lot.
“We’ll celebrate a little, rest and tonight we’ll see our likely opponent. Then, like all games, we’ll prepare it in the same way — knowing strengths, weaknesses, adjusting to our characteristics and preparing the game plan.”
Horta scored in his debut at a major event to give Portugal an early lead in the fifth minute, after Diogo Dalot’s excellent work down the right flank.
Kim Jin-su scored for South Korea in the 17th minute, but he was ruled offside as he converted from close range after Diogo Costa made an outstanding save.
In the 27th minute, however, Kim redirected a loose ball past Costa after Cristiano Ronaldo’s corner kick ricocheted off the post.
Son Heung-min led a fantastic counterattack from a Portugal corner kick that was beautifully converted by Hwang to give South Korea the winning goal.
“Things didn’t go well and the responsibility is mine, obviously,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.
“In the second half the team had many ups and downs. In the first half, we didn’t let them counter-attack, but in the second, the ball circulated slower.
“It had already happened with Serbia [Portugal conceded a stoppage-time goal to them in World Cup qualifying which meant they dropped to the play-offs] and the players know perfectly well that it can’t happen, they [have been] more than warned [about] this. It cannot happen.”