AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — South Korea advanced to the round of 16 at the World Cup on the tiebreaker of goals scored after beating Portugal 2-1 Friday following a stoppage-time strike from Hwang Hee-chan.
South Korea was heading out of the tournament until Son Heung-min led a length-of-the-field breakaway in the first minute of added time and slipped a pass through to Hwang, who converted a low finish.
Son and his teammates then formed a huddle in the middle of the field after the final whistle and watched coverage of the end of the other Group H match between Uruguay and Ghana on a cell phone. South Korea’s team’s fans were in tears, and some were praying.
When that game finished 2-0 to Uruguay and South Korea was sure of its second-place finish, the players erupted in joy.
South Korea finished even with Uruguay with four points and both had a goal difference of zero, but the Asian team scored four goals compared to Uruguay’s two.
Portugal had already advanced after two games and won the group.