Son Heung-min endured 'longest six minutes' before South Korea advanced | Inquirer Sports

Son Heung-min endured ‘longest six minutes’ before South Korea advanced

/ 06:48 PM December 03, 2022
South Korea's midfielder #07 Son Heung-min celebrates his team's victory during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group H football match between South Korea and Portugal at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on December 2, 2022.

South Korea’s midfielder #07 Son Heung-min celebrates his team’s victory during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group H football match between South Korea and Portugal at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on December 2, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

DOHA—- Son Heung-min described South Korea’s agonizing wait for confirmation of their place in World Cup knockout rounds “the longest six minutes of my life” after their 2-1 win over Portugal on Friday saw them advance to the last 16.

The Korean captain set up Hwang Hee-chan to score a 91st minute winner against Fernando Santos’ side and leave the Taeguk Warriors hoping Uruguay would be unable to add to their two-goal lead over Ghana in the other Group H match.

ADVERTISEMENT

Another goal would have taken Uruguay into the last 16 at Korea’s expense on goal-difference and the squad huddled together on the Education City Stadium pitch watching on digital devices as the South Americans ultimately fell short.

“It was the longest six minutes of my life, but in the circle we were really positive,” said Son, who will be playing in the World Cup knockout rounds for the first time in his career.

FEATURED STORIES

“I said: if Uruguay score one more goal, I’m very proud of this team and very happy that you gave it everything and we will see what’s going to happen.

“We were just waiting, but it was a long wait.”

Korea’s win over the Portuguese carried echoes of their 2-0 victory over Germany in Russia four years ago, which eliminated the then-defending champions.

Son scored deep into injury time in that game in Kazan only for the win to be academic, with Korea failing to progress as Mexico’s 3-0 loss against Sweden took both nations through at the expense of the Shin Tae-yong coached side.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This time was different,” said Son. “We were waiting for another result but I didn’t even think about four years ago because I was so happy and I was so proud at this moment.”

The Koreans will next take on tournament favorites Brazil on Monday with Son praising the unity within Paulo Bento’s squad.

“We spend more time than with friends and family,” he said. “In the camp the guys are already here more than a month.

“We’re really, really close. I’m really grateful to those who didn’t play, they could be sad but they didn’t show their disappointment.

“They gave everything on the bench and support us and that makes a huge difference, to be one team than going in different ways.

“I’m very happy, very grateful to lead this team and have this team. This makes a huge difference.”

RELATED STORIES

South Korea reaches World Cup last 16 after late drama

Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: qatar world cup, Son Heung-min, South Korea
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our sports news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.