World Cup: After the tears, South Korea turns eyes to Portugal

Son Heung-min FIFA World Cup Korea

FILE PHOTO: Football – Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup – Group H – South Korea v Ghana – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar – November 28, 2022 Son Heung-min of South Korea looked depressed after the game against Ghana. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

DOHA – South Korea let their emotions run wild when they lost to Ghana in a five-goal horror this week, but they can’t expect sympathy on Friday from Portugal, determined to take the top spot at the World Cup. their.

South Korea must beat the 2016 European champions – as they did at the 2002 World Cup at home – and hope that the outcome of the other final Group H match between Ghana and Uruguay also goes their way. .

Striker Son Heung-min was in tears after Monday’s 2-3 loss to Ghana and coach Paulo Bento was shown a red card for arguing with the referee after he blew the final whistle as his team prepared. corner kick taken.

Bento will not be on the bench against Portugal.

Assistant coach Sergio Costa said South Korea will bounce back from their disappointment.

“We clearly deserved to win,” Costa said. “Trust us in the next game.”

South Korea has only one point after the opening match against Uruguay and must win against Portugal to have a chance to progress.

At the World Cup 20 years ago, South Korea beat Portugal with 10 men – a team that included Bento – in their last match. This result meant that Portugal did not qualify for the next round while the Koreans went on to advance to the semi-finals.

Portugal opened their campaign in Qatar with a 3-2 win over Ghana before enjoying a 2-0 win over Uruguay on Monday.

But they are not certain to top the group, a position that could see them avoid Brazil in the round of 16.

“First place is not guaranteed,” coach Fernando Santos said on Monday. “We’re going to take the top spot, and not just for Brazil.”

Santos will likely be forced to change more of the 11 starters after left-back Nuno Mendes was injured in the first half against Uruguay and was replaced by Raphael Guerreiro.

Center-back Danilo Pereira is sidelined with a broken rib so 39-year-old defender Pepe will most likely keep his place and be tasked with accompanying South Korean striker Cho Gue-sung, who has scored twice in three minutes. net of Ghana.

Midfielder Otavio also missed the match against Uruguay due to injury.

Captain Cristiano Ronaldo will have the chance to equal the World Cup scoring record for Portugal held by Eusebio, who scored nine goals in 1966 in England, the only tournament he has played in.

Ronaldo has scored eight goals in his five World Cups and he scored his ninth in Monday’s win over Uruguay, thanks only to the goal awarded to teammate Bruno Fernandes.


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