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FIFA WC: This serves as a warning: Portugal coach after loss to South Korea
Al Rayyan: Following the loss to South Korea in their group stage FIFA World Cup match, Portugal head coach Fernando Santos said the side needed to be more forceful against their opponent and though he trusts his team and does not think they will be unmotivated, the loss still serves as a warning.
Hwang Hee-Chan's goal in stoppage time helped South Korea stun Portugal 2-1 in their last Group H match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 being played here at the Education City Stadium. With this win, the Koreans made it to the pre-quarters. "We needed to be more forceful when playing Korea. We tried to explore several strategies to counter the Korean squad, we were focusing on the different wingers and full-back. We created several opportunities on goal, we could have scored more," Sky Sports quoted the coach as saying after the match.
"We needed to correct our mistakes in the first 20 minutes, have more quick passes and were having some difficulties and needed to better our game to finish. After that, we lost our organisation. Korea were controlling the game, we lost focus and our players were motivated but we conceded a goal when they were counter-attacking."
"That is normal in any part of the tournament, it can happen. Therefore, we are somewhat upset. We are first in the group but wanted to win and have a better game in order to increase the morale of the players. That said, I don't think they will be unmotivated, they are playing well and I trust my team. That serves as a warning for us though," said Santos.
The 2016 Euro Champions started off aggressively taking the lead in the fifth minute of the match. Diogo Dalot's assist helped Ricardo Horta take a right-footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal.
Ten minutes later Portugal tried hard again as Joao Cancelo's right-footed shot from a difficult angle on the left was saved in the bottom right corner. Pepe also tried a through ball but this time Cancelo was caught offside.
South Korea made their first aggressive move in the 16th minute when Son Heung-Min's right-footed attempt with the help of Jung Woo-Young's assist from the left side of the box was blocked.
In the next minute, Jung Woo-Young tried a through ball but Kim Jin-Su was caught offside.
Finally, in the 27th minute, South Korea managed to level the score 1-1 when Kim Young-Gwon's left foot shot from very close range to the centre of the goal following a corner.
In the 30th minute, Pepe tried a through ball but Cristiano Ronaldo was caught offside. Both the teams entered into half-time with the score level at 1-1.
Both teams made many attempts in the second half but failed to score. The match went to the stoppage time where Son Heung-Min's assist helped Hee-Chan take a right-footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner to give their team a 2-1 win and make it to pre-quarters.
Portugal had six shots on target and so did South Korea. In terms of possession, Portugal was far ahead having 62 per cent while Korea had only 38. (ANI)