South Korea caused yet another table-turning upset against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal earlier in an electrifying clash in the Education City Stadium. But was it an ‘upset,’ though? South Korea’s 2-1 victory over Portugal is more than that.
While Portugal led their way with dominance over South Korea in most statistical frontiers, including ball possession, South Korea came out as the underdogs who exploited the mistakes in the Portuguese defense and took advantage of the miscommunication in their attack.
South Korea emerge victorious against Portugal
In this do-or-die match, South Korea depended on their own victory and favor from Ghana to defeat Uruguay; they scored not once or twice but thrice, one being ruled offside, in an all-out attempt to secure a spot in the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Portugal was clearly being seen as the superior to win the match, especially after their early lead was acquired by Ricardo Horta in the 4th minute of the match, where he netted the ball in a fantastic strike.
The goal not only made the Portuguese overconfident but also aroused the fire to win among the Koreans because the equalizer came in the first half, in the 27th minute of the game, by Kim Young-gwon, keeping their hopes alive.
The Korean defense stood like a wall in front of the Portuguese attacking unit, shutting down the magic from the star players like Cristiano Ronaldo for the rest of the game.
It was in the 90+1 minute when Hwang Hee-chan scored a spectacular goal by being present at the right moment in the right place, supporting their captain Son Heung Min, who led the counterattack alone, facing multiple defenders at the same time.
With the assist from captain fantastic Son, Hee-chan’s incredible spatial presence to smell the goal and being present to net it in has sealed South Korea’s spot in the round of 16 as they jumped from the bottom of the table to the second spot. Along with them, Portugal heads into the knockouts as the table winners.
Suarez-led Uruguay and Ghana have to pack their bags after being shown the door out of the Qatar world cup after ending their disappointing runs at the tournament.