Hwang the hero as Korea Republic advance, Uruguay win but crash out, Portugal top group despite defeat
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portgual have topped Group H and will face the runners-up from Group G in the round of 16 despite a 2-1 loss to Korea Republic at Education City Stadium in their final group stage fixture.
Hwang Hee-chan’s late goal has propelled Korea Republic into the knockout stage for the first time since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. They join Japan and Australia as the latest Asian side to advance to the round of 16 in Qatar.
At the Al Janoub Stadium Luis Suarez, 12 years on from that handball, was again Ghana’s main antagonist but it in the end it was just not enough for Uruguay as the South American side were eliminated from the FIFA World Cup on goals scored.
Suarez’s parried shot was tapped in by Giorgian de Arrascaeta as Uruguay opened the scoring before the Nacional striker laid on the assist for De Arrascaeta’s second goal.
For Ghana, it’s a last-place finish in Group H – a disappointing end to a promising campaign in Qatar. Next up for their domestic-based players is the African Nations Championship in January.
Heroic Hwang sends Korea Republic through, Ghana finish bottom of Group H
South Korea have scored a late goal to beat Portugal 2-1 in the World Cup, a win that sends the Asian side into the last 16 ahead of Uruguay on the number of goals scored.
With the clock ticking down on South Korea’s time in the tournament on Friday, striker Son Heung-min ran free after a Portugal corner in added time and slipped a pass to Hwang Hee-chan who fired past Diogo Costa to spark wild celebrations.
After an early opener for Portugal by Ricardo Horta, Kim Young-gwon gave the Koreans hope in the 27th minute when a corner struck Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo on the back and fell kindly for the defender to sweep the ball home.
The last-gasp win for South Korea earned them second place in group H ahead of Uruguay, whose 2-0 win against Ghana proved not enough to stop them being eliminated. Portugal finished top of the group.
Suarez heavily involved as Uruguay fall just short despite 2-0 victory
Ghana and taking penalties against Uruguay: these two just do not mix.
Sergio Rochet went from villain to hero in the space of a couple of minutes, denying Ghana captain Andre Ayew from the spot after the Uruguay gloveman had brought down Mohammed Kudus in the penalty area.
It was a huge moment early on with Uruguay needing all three points to give themselves a chance of qualifying for the knockout stage, while a draw would’ve likely been enough for the Ghanians.
Considering the subtext, it was to be expected that Luis Saurez would be involved in Uruguay’s opening goal.
Suarez beat his defender then got a decent strike away, with Lawrence Ati-Zigi only able to parry into the path of Giorgian de Arrascaeta for a tap-in.
De Arrascaeta’s powerful strike then doubled Uruguay’s advantage, with Suarez providing the assist. There was plenty behind the shot from close range but Ati-Zigi might have done better with it.
The 2-0 scoreline perhaps flattered the South American side as the two teams went to the sheds but it meant it was a tremendous mountain to climb for Ghana in the second stanza after Ayew’s missed penalty.
Uruguay needed to win but also required a boost in their goal difference in the event of South Korea managing to defeat Portugal.
Darwin Nunez saw a penalty shout turned down by a VAR after the contact from Leicester City defender Daniel Amartey was deemed to be legal.
The equation changed when everyone at the Al Janoub discovered Hwang had given South Korea the lead against Portgual, meaning Uruguay needed another goal to progress to the round of 16.
La Celeste tried and tried for a third goal but it wasn’t to be.
Suarez and his teammates were inconsolable as Uruguay were eliminated from the World Cup.