South Korean superstar Heung-Min Son’s tears of joy following their qualification for the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 turned into tears of agony after Brazil thrashed them 4-1 in the first round of knockout fixtures on Monday.
South Korea qualified for the last 16 in dramatic fashion, scoring a last-minute winner against Portugal on Friday night to complete a historic turnaround. South Korea, also referred to as the ‘Reds’, were the bookies’ favourites to finish rock-bottom of the group. And after the first two rounds of group fixtures, many would have thought their money is safe considering the Asian nation were held to a goalless draw against Uruguay and were then beaten 3-2 by Ghana.
Spurs star Son was instrumental in pushing his team over the line and into the knockout stages. Last season’s joint-top Premier League scorer went on a dazzling run late against Portugal to set up Hwang Hee-Chan for the late winner.
Son was then pictured in tears after his efforts had paid off, balling his eyes out as he was surrounded and embraced by his joyful teammates.
On the other hand, the Brazilian team truly flexed their footballing muscles on Monday night after putting in a wonderful attacking performance, leading 4-0 at half-time.
Furthermore, every single goal scored by the Seleção was a thing of beauty, including talisman Neymar’s penalty, which he clinically dispatched after playing mind games with the South Korean goalkeeper.
Brazil were in cruise-control for the entirety of the second-half and were even able to bring on goalkeeper Weverton in place of Liverpool star Alisson, which means every member of their 26-man squad received minutes in this year’s tournament in Qatar.
The South Koreans managed to get a goal back late in the game through Paik Seung-ho, but this proved to just be a consolation strike as the South Americans ran out 4-1 winners, booking their place in the quarter-finals against Croatia, set to take place on Friday.
Brazil may be beginning to purr at the perfect time following a few unconvincing performances in the group stage, despite picking up the wins. The Seleção will be grateful to have their star player Neymar back and ready to play. The PSG sensation will be of the utmost importance if Brazil are to achieve the biggest prize in world football for the first time since 2002.