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South Korea 2-1 Portugal: Hwang winner puts Taeguk Warriors through
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Ryan Benson
Stats Perform
South Korea celebrate the winning goal against Uruguay
South Korea celebrate the winning goal against Uruguay

Hwang Hee-chan scored a stoppage-time winner to beat Portugal 2-1 and put South Korea through to the last 16 of the World Cup at the expense of Uruguay in a dramatic conclusion to Group H.

The Taeguk Warriors appeared to be heading out as they looked set to draw while Uruguay led Ghana elsewhere but Hwang netted at the end to complete an incredible turnaround.

Ricardo Horta had put Portugal in front early on, but they failed to heed the warning posed by Kim Jin-su's disallowed goal soon after, with Kim Young-gwon deservedly getting South Korea back on level terms.

Portugal — who won the group anyway — coasted through the second half and South Korea took full advantage, with Hwang landing the decisive blow to spark bedlam and send Uruguay packing.

South Korea's feeble start suggested they were there for the taking, with Horta applying an easy finish to take a fifth-minute lead after Diogo Dalot breezed past Kim Jin-su and cut the ball back.

Kim Jin-su scored what he thought was the equaliser 12 minutes later, tapping in on the rebound after Diogo Costa saved Cho Gue-sung's header, but it was ruled out for offside.

Portugal's lead was wiped out before the half-hour, though — Kim Young-gwon tapped in from a corner. 

A second half generally lacking quality appeared to be petering out.

But then captain Son Heung-min darted towards the Portugal goal, awaited support and calmly fed Hwang through a defender's legs, Hwang slamming past Costa to secure progress in astonishing fashion.

What does it mean? South Korea's remarkable escape

Fair play to South Korea — this may not have been a vintage attacking performance, they created few clear-cut opportunities but were certainly ruthless.

Four years ago, they stunned Germany on matchday three to send the then-holders out of Russia 2018 but it mattered little as they were going out anyway.

This time, however, they were able to revel in the glory of a shock win and progression. Portugal win the group, but this was all about South Korea's story, with the Taeguk Warriors even prevailing with their coach — Paulo Bento — sat in the stands suspended.

Cheers, Son's crying (happy tears)

He huffed and puffed throughout. He could be accused of trying to do it all at times and was beginning to become frustrated but his poise and quality were crucial for the winner.

Son and his team-mates then waited anxiously on the pitch watching the closing stages of Uruguay vs Ghana — some doing so on mobile phones — before they could safely celebrate an astonishing achievement.

What's next?

Portugal go through as section winners meaning they will face the runners-up from Group G, which could still be any of the four teams involved, though Brazil are the least likely. South Korea are going through with them, probably facing Tite's side.


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