South Korea showed resilience and stunned already-qualified Portugal 2-1 to advance in the knockout phase, while Cameroon stunned Brazil to make history in the final group games of the World Cup 2022. The last-16 games also started over the weekend, with Netherlands, Argentina, England and France all through the quarterfinals as the final round of the tournament nears.
Son Heung-min setting up a winning goal for substitute Hwang Hee-chan in the dying moments of the final group stage match. “I’ve been waiting for this moment a long time and I believed we could get it done,” said Son, who broke into tears after the announcement of their progression. The Tottenham star and the Wolverhampton Wanderers’ forward helped their national team finish second as Uruguay fell short in goal difference.
The South Koreans were without their head coach Paulo Bento, who was sent off following the final whistle of the Koreans’ 3-2 defeat to Ghana, heading to this match. Portugal showed dominance early in the game, with Ricardo Horta marking his World Cup debut with a goal in the 5th minute. They almost made an early equalizer through Cho Gue-sung’s header only for it to be overturned as offside. Follow us for more soccer highlights!
The Portuguese side, who already advanced in the next round as group winners, held the lead for less than 30 minutes only as Kim Young-gwon netted the equalizer in the 27th minute, with Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo playing a role in the South Korean goal. The game leveled in points in the regular time. South Korea showed desperation at the start of the stoppage time.
In the last few minutes of the stoppage time, Son made a crucial pass to Wolves forward Hwang, who delivered a superb finish in the 91st minute to break the tie. South Korea won the match but waited for another 10 minutes to confirm their place. As the final scores were tallied, the South Korean team along with the fans were seen emotional as they advanced in the next round.
Meanwhile, Uruguay, needing one more goal to progress, were left in agony as they finished third in Group H on goal difference despite winning against Ghana 2-0. Giorgian de Arrascaeta scored both of Uruguay’s goals in the match, with Luis Suarez setting up both of his goals. South Korea take on another challenge as they face Brazil in the last-16.
Elsewhere, Cameroon made history as they handed Brazil’s first group-stage loss in 24 years and became the first African side to win against the Seleçao at the tournament. Vincent Aboubakar scored the only goal of the match, ending Cameroon’s 20-year wait for a victory at the World Cup finals. Despite the win, Cameroon did not advance in the next round as they finished third in Group G.
The five-time champions Brazil, who beat Serbia and Switzerland to secure a spot in the knockouts, were stunned just two minutes into the second half as Aboubakar hit a superb header. Aboubakar was sent off by referee Ismail Elfath following his goal after taking off his shirt. The African side held on to it until the final whistle, handing Brazil their first defeat in the group stage of a World Cup since 1998 when Norway defeated them.
“It will be before me – we lost – the first Brazilian coach to lose to an African team, we will have to suffer 24 hours and then we have to start preparing. We feel the loss, and we must feel the loss when we lose. We have to feel it – it is part of the context,” said Brazil coach Tite.
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