Wolves star Hwang Hee-chan was the hero of the hour for South Korea today, as he scored in injury time to send his nation to the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Paulo Bento’s side faced Portugal in their final group stage match.
They needed to win to advance, and they eventually did go through by virtue of more goals scored than Uruguay.
Uruguay beat Ghana 2-0 in the other game, meaning they fell agonisingly short.
Portugal took the lead against Korea early on through Ricardo Horta.
But, as we have seen so many times in the tournament, the perceived ‘lesser’ footballing nation came from behind to win.
Kim Young-gown levelled just before the half hour mark.
And then in the second-half, Hwang popped up for Korea in the 91st minute.
From a cleared Portugal corner, Tottenham Hotspur star Heung-min Son broke away on the counter and slipped his teammate in who produced a clinical finish into the bottom corner with a first-time finish. It was absolutely brilliant work by Son, but also an amazing sprint from Hwang – considering his recent injury problem – to get up there and finish the move off.
The game between Uruguay and Ghana continued for around five minutes after Korea’s win was sealed, so it was still unclear if they’d be going through.
Uruguay needed one more goal, and Ghana needed two to advance. But neither could find a breakthrough.
There were amazing scenes of the Korean players huddled around a phone watching the last minutes of the other game.
It was an incredible moment for Hwang, who had not featured for Korea at the World Cup before this game.
He had been struggling with a hamstring injury, and could not participate against Uruguay or Ghana. But there was hope he would feature in today’s game, after it had been reported he had been sprinting in training on Wednesday.
But Hwang Hee-chan is a name that will be now written into South Korean football folklore.
Wolves fans will be absolutely delighted for Hwang, who has struggled at Molineux in 2022. Hopefully this amazing moment for him will now be the catalyst for him moving forwards.