South Korea – Portugal Predictions
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South Korea 2-1 Portugal
Date: 02.12.2022 | Match at: 16:00 | League: WORLD CUP – ROUND 3 | Tip: Under 3.5 Goals | Odds: 1.34 | Bookie: Unibet.
Match Preview South Korea – Portugal Predictions
- South Korea found themselves on the wrong end of one of the most entertaining games of the tournament so far as they lost 3-2 to Ghana to take qualification out of their own hands. The Koreans impressively closed a 2-0 deficit with a quickfire brace from Gue-Sung Cho, but Mohamed Kudus’ eventual winner for Ghana means that South Korea must now defeat the already-qualified Portugal whilst hoping for a favour from Uruguay.
- Enraged after the final whistle, South Korea boss Paulo Bento saw red as he remonstrated with the referee. Lisbon-born Bento was part of a Portugal team that South Korea eliminated with a 1-0 win in the 2002 tournament, but his angry protests mean that he’ll be absent from the touchline in what is arguably the biggest game of his managerial career against his homeland.
- There will be one Portuguese manager on the touchline though, Portugal boss Fernando Santos! Now the national manager for eight years, Santos faced a selection headache in the buildup to their comfortable 2-0 win over Uruguay with defender Danilo Pereira picking up an injury, yet 39-year-old veteran Pepé stepped in and put in a brilliant performance to help his nation to a clean sheet in just his second full 90’ since the beginning of October.
- Having already secured passage to the knockout phase for the fourth time across the last five tournaments, Portugal need just a point here to guarantee top spot in Group H. History points to a strong showing from them in this final group game as they are currently unbeaten in their last four such contests (W2, D2), although that run began after losing 1-0 to South Korea when suffering an early elimination in 2002!
- Players to watch: Gue-Sung Cho announced himself last time out with his first goals at the World Cup finals, meaning the Jeonbuk Motors man has now scored eight goals across his last seven appearances for club & country. Trying to outdo him will be Bruno Fernandes, who’s now had a hand in four of Portugal’s five tournament goals (G2, A2) after being rightfully awarded his first goal of the tournament after some initial confusion with teammate Ronaldo celebrating as if he’d scored, before he grabbed another late in the game.
- Hot stat: South Korea possess a meagre 22% win-rate against UEFA nations at the World Cup finals (W5, D6, L12).
- World Cup trivia: Portugal didn’t play out a single stalemate across their first 16 World Cup tournament games starting in 1966 and ending in the 2006 edition (W11, L5), and that remains a competition record of straight games without a draw to this very day!
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