South Korea advances at World Cup after stoppage-time winner
South Korea’s players formed a circle in the centre of the field and trained their eyes on several cell phones showing a nearby match that would decide their future at the World cup.
The South Koreans had just about done their job, beating Portugal 2-1 on a stoppage-time goal.
Now came an agonizing wait. They just needed Uruguay to not score a goal against Ghana in the other group match that still had at least six minutes to play.
Some South Korean fans prayed. Others were crying, just like captain Son Heung-min in the players’ huddle.
They could soon celebrate.
South Korea advanced to the round of 16 on the tiebreaker of goals scored, pushing Uruguay into third place Friday in one of the wildest finishes to a group in the tournament’s history.
Both teams finished with four points and both had a goal difference of zero, but the Asian team scored four goals compared to Uruguay’s two.
“We never gave up,” Son said through tears. “Our players were trying to run an extra step more, sacrificing themselves, and that allowed us to achieve a good result.“
When the Uruguay-Ghana game finished 2-0 and South Korea was sure of its second-place finish, the players on the field erupted in joy and squirted water in the air.