Portugal already through to the round of 16.South Korea must win to have any chance of joining them.Draw sufficient for Portugal to top the group.
Two decades after their painful loss to the co-hosts at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Portugal finally have a rematch against South Korea.The pair will face off in the final group match, just as they did 20 years ago, when Park Jisung’s winner won the group for the Taegeuk Warriors and sent Luis Figo and Co, including current South Korea coach Paulo Bento, crashing out of the World Cup.
In Qatar, however, the boot seems to be on the other foot. Portugal are safely through to the knockout stages after wins against Ghana and Uruguay, while their opponents sit joint bottom of Group H with just one point following a goalless draw with Uruguay and a devastating 3-2 loss to Ghana. For the Taegeuk Warriors to have any chance of reaching the last 16, they must win tomorrow and then hope other results go their way.
Paulo Bento may not be able to start Napoli centre-back Kim Minjae due to his calf injury. And having missed the first two group matches due to a hamstring problem, Wolves striker Hwang Heechan may also be ruled out of tomorrow’s game. Adding to his woes, Bento will miss the final group match against his homeland after the Portugal-born coach was red-carded for a furious tirade at referee Anthony Taylor, following his decision to blow for full time after his side had won a corner.
With qualification to the knockout stages already secured, Fernando Santos will likely rotate his squad. Defenders Nuno Mendes and Danilo Pereira as well as the midfielder Otavio are set to miss the match due to injuries. For their part, Ruben Dias, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix all have a yellow card from their opening games.
Head to head:
The only previous meeting between Korea Republic and Portugal came at the 2002 World Cup, which the Asian side won 1-0 on home soil.
However, the pair have met five times at FIFA U-20 tournaments in 1991, 1999, 2013, 2017 and 2019, with four wins for Portugal and a draw.
The Taegeuk Warriors are looking to reach the knockout stage for the third time in their history, having last managed it with a run to the round of 16 at South Africa 2010.Portugal have not won all three group games at a World Cup since 2006.
Paulo Bento and Fernando Santos go back many years, with Bento playing for Santos’ Sporting CP before retiring in 2004.
Possible starting line up :
South Korea: Kim Seunggyu, Kim Moonhwan, Kim Jinsu, Kim Younggwon, Kim Minjae, Jung Wooyoung, Hwang Inbeom, Lee Jaesung, Son Heungmin, Na Sangho, Cho Guesung
Portugal: Diogo Costa, Joao Cancelo, Raphael Guerreiro, Ruben Dias, Pepe, Ruben Neves, Bernardo Silva, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix
Education City Stadium