Football sometimes seems to operate in cycles. South Korea vs Portugal.
South Korea and Portugal are prepared to do it all over again 20 years after a pivotal World Cup group match.
After victories over Ghana and Uruguay, the Seleço das Quinas are already through, and barring a three-goal comeback, they will advance as group champions.
Fernando Santos, the head coach, may want to rotate, but he might decide to revert to full strength if he smells retribution.
The only previous encounter between South Korea and Portugal occurred at the 2002 World Cup, where South Korea defeated Portugal 1-0 on home soil in the game’s final group-stage match. Portugal was thus eliminated from the competition.
This time, South Korea will need to win or lose, and in order to do that, Uruguay must narrowly defeat Ghana.
Paulo Bento’s team is looking to win their third group game for just the third time at the tournament after doing so against Portugal in 2002, as previously mentioned, and against Germany in 2018. However, they have lost five of their last seven World Cup games (W1 D1), the same number as they had in their previous 16 (W5 D6).
Since Portugal has never lost a World Cup game when they have scored first (P18 W15 D3), more than any other country in tournament history, the opening goal will be especially crucial.
Bento won’t be at the game since he was dismissed from the 3-2 loss to Ghana after yelling at referee Anthony Taylor for blowing the full-time whistle after his team had earned a corner. South Korea vs Portugal.
After that game, his assistant Sergio Costa commented, “We shall continue to prepare in the same way as prior matches – our method will not fail.” Paulo is a great manager, so it’s a loss that he won’t be there for the game, but I believe it will bring us closer.
The irony is that Bento represented Portugal in that humiliating loss to South Korea in 2002. In fact, it ended up being his final match with the national team before he was appointed head coach again.
Portugal, meanwhile, hopes to win all three of its group-stage games for just the third time, having previously accomplished this feat in 1966 and 2006.
If Cristiano Ronaldo and company are successful in ending South Korea’s tournament as well, there will undoubtedly be a feeling of retaliation.
Korea’s Players to Watch Heung-min Son
Son was always going to be the focal point for his nation, but the Tottenham attacker has yet to fully establish himself in Qatar.
However, he has been a generational talent for his nation. Son has scored more goals in the top five leagues in Europe since the 2010–11 season began than any other South Korean player.
Son led all South Korean qualifiers with the most shots (40), shots on target (19), goals (five), and chances (27), more than any other player.
Bruno Fernandes, Portugal
While Ronaldo has garnered the majority of attention, as usual, his old Manchester United teammate has emerged as his nation’s World Cup MVP thus far.
After Karim Benzema for France in 2014, Fernandes has contributed to four of Portugal’s five goals (two goals, two assists). He is only the second player this century to have multiple goals and assists in a team’s first two group-stage games.
In qualifying, he also generated more opportunities than any other Portuguese player with 21.
Portuguese versus South Korea Prediction
The Opta prediction model does not rank Portugal as the clear favourites because they do not have a pressing need for a result to win the group, but Santos’ team is still predicted to win with a 58.4% chance of doing so.
The probability of the draw, which, like a Portugal victory, is useless to South Korea’s hopes, is estimated at 22.3%, while the probability of the Taegeuk Warriors’ crucial victory is put at 19.3%.