South Korea vs Portugal

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Despite a 3-2 win which saw Cristiano Ronaldo become the first man to score at five World Cups, Portugal failed to impress on Matchday 1 against Ghana. However, the 2016 European Champions looked more like themselves in a 2-0 victory over Uruguay, which kept them top of Group H. The only uncertainty in that game surrounded who would be credited with their first goal, Ronaldo, or Bruno Fernandes. Fernandes was awarded the first goal and added a stoppage-time penalty as the Seleção enjoyed 60% of the possession in a comfortable win. South Korea failed to record a shot on target in their opening 0-0 draw with Uruguay. They did manage seven shots on goal against Ghana, and had 63% of the possession but, despite coming back from 2-0 down, the Taegeuk Warriors lost to a 68th-minute goal.

Portugal began the tournament ranked 9th in the world, 19 places ahead of their opponents. In the only previous meeting between these teams, Portugal were one of the big-name teams to fall victim to South Korea in the 2002 World Cup. Both sides are likely to play a back four, with South Korea usually deploying a 4-2-3-1 formation, and Portugal mostly set up in a variation of a 4-3-3. Portugal have already guaranteed themselves a place in the last 16 for the fourth time in five World Cups and will be group winners with a win or a draw. South Korea’s hopes of making it to the knockout stages for the first time since 2010, rest on Ghana failing to beat Uruguay. If that happens, a win for the Taegeuk Warriors may be enough for them to progress.

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