After a tough and hard-fought group, it was South Korea who managed to join Portugal in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup. They had to do it the hard way and they were overlooked by the majority, but in the end, they did enough to pull off a truly remarkable win and overall accomplishment.
Today, we’re going to take a look at how they did it and what we’ve come to learn in the aftermath.
South Korean spirit
At 1-0 down, South Korean fans could’ve been forgiven for thinking they were heading on a one way trip back home. Instead, though, they dug deep, and they pulled off the sort of win that showcases why they have such a great spirit within their squad and nation. They had a handful of minor miracles go their way in 2002 and got quite far, so who are we to say that lightning can’t strike twice on the big stage?
Group stage carnage
Every single group in the entire tournament had some kind of drama that went right down to the wire in their final set of fixtures. It’s a shame, then, that FIFA insists on switching up the formula for 2026. This has been an unbelievably tense World Cup for so many reasons and as we begin to gear up for the knockouts of the tournament, we’re going to expect more of the same – much more, in fact.
Tough road ahead
It’s an understatement, really, to say that a tough road lies ahead for both South Korea and Portugal in the remainder of this competition. Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan will march their side into battle against Brazil, one of the nations that is favoured to go all the way. On the flip side, Portugal take on Switzerland – knowing that while they should be the favourites, it’s a huge potential banana skin.