Hwang Hee-chan wrote his name into South Korean football folklore last week with his last gasp goal against Portugal, and Cho Gue-sung has said it was the happiest moment of his career.
The Wolves star was watching from the bench as his teammates sought to find a winning goal against Portugal.
It was must-win for Korea if they were to advance to the knockout stages.
With the game all tied up at 1-1 with around 30 minutes left to play, Paulo Bento summoned Hwang.
He had not featured at all at the World Cup due to a niggling hamstring injury. So he was coming in a little cold.
But Hwang made the impact his manager needed, and millions of Koreans around the world wanted.
Korea broke away after clearing a corner from Portugal, with Heung-min Son leading the charge.
The Tottenham Hotspur star did fantastically well to take the ball all the way to the edge of the Portuguese box, before slipping in Hwang.
Hwang himself did brilliantly to get up and support, and he made no mistake with the finish into the bottom corner.
It turned out to be the goal that sent Korea through, and striker Cho Sueng-ho – who scored the two goals in the 3-2 defeat to Ghana – has been speaking about that moment following his nation’s exit from the competition.
He said (via Yonhap News Agency): “When Hee-chan scored that goal, I had tears in my eyes. Just thinking about it right now gets me all choked up. It was the happiest moment of my entire football career. None of us ever gave up, and that’s why we were able to reach the round of 16.”
According to Korea JoongAng Daily, the Korea team will attend a banquet hosted by president Yoon Suk-yeol tomorrow evening.
Hwang’s goal against Portugal was one of the best moments of the World Cup in Qatar, as Cho Gue-sung hails Wolves star
One can only imagine the sheer ecstasy the Korean people felt when Hwang scored that goal against Portugal.
It was an incredible moment that the Wolves man served up, and it will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Without doubt it was one of the best moments of the tournament, and Cho’s feelings will likely be shared by many other members of the national team.
From a Wolves perspective, Hwang’s exploits for Korea have been really good to see.
He’s looked like he’s been low on confidence lately, and hopefully this whole experience will do him the world of good.