South Korea secured passage out of Group H and into the knockout stage with a dramatic stoppage-time goal by Hwang Hee-chan to defeat Portugal, 2-1.
Tottenham star, Son Heung-min did the lion’s share of the work, setting up the fortune-reversing goal, driving the length of the field and taking on three defenders before slipping a pass to Hwang.
Prior to the goal, the Koreans sat in fourth place in the live group standings. The 2-1 victory tied them with Uruguay with four points and with each having a net-zero goal differential. South Korea, though, advanced by winning the goals-scored tiebreaker, 4-2.
On Wednesday, in a hectic finish to Group C, Mexico was eliminated by the goal-differential tiebreaker after it briefly appeared El Tri instead would be eliminated by the “fair play” tiebreaker because the team had been assessed more yellow cards than Poland.
On Thursday, Germany was sent packing after the combination of a controversial Japan goal and a suspiciously lackadaisical Spain effort put the Germans on the wrong end of the Group E tiebreaker. Earlier Thursday, world No. 2 Belgium was bounced from the tournament after squandering several opportunities to score in a 0-0 draw against Croatia to close play in Group F.