It wasn’t too terrible the way South Korea concluded their participation in Qatar 2022. Perhaps the team in question actually performed well, and their opponents were the illustrious five-time champions Brazil. However, there was a moment when.
It was always going to take something extraordinary for the South Koreans to defeat the powerful Brazil.
Vinicius Junior and Neymar found the back of the net in the early stages of the match, within the first 13 minutes, which proved to be an extraordinary turn of events when the Brazilians took a two-goal lead.
By halftime, Brazil emerged with a 4-0 scoreline, furthering their campaign in South Korea and dominating the contest against Paqueta Lucas and Richarlison.
However, it was the Taegeuk Warriors who would ultimately determine the outcome of the event.
After being torn apart by the brilliant samba football of the South Koreans, the Brazilians remember when Seung-ho Paik, a substitute from Barcelona’s academy, grabbed a consolation goal in the 76th minute by latching onto a loose ball on the edge of the box and unleashing a stunning first-time piledriver that had Alisson beaten all ends up.
In addition to Paik’s fantastic goal, South Korea can reflect on their efforts from the past two weeks and find many other reasons to feel satisfied.
A commendable achievement is advancing from their group with a tie against Uruguay and triumph over Portugal as their notable outcomes, even though some of the shine was diminished by a defeat to Ghana.
The accumulation consistently did not correspond to the conclusion, even during offensive maneuvers, they exhibited ample creativity and penetration but were also well-coordinated and tenacious when defending for the majority of the time.
It is no surprise that Son Heung-min is South Korea’s standout player, as the fact that they advanced to the knockout stage without him scoring a single goal demonstrates that they are not excessively dependent on him.
It is conjectured that he deserves credit for just being there and having some sort of influence, especially considering that he was wearing a protective mask while suffering from a facial fracture at the start of November – however, it is also speculated how much further they might have gone on the flipside, of course.
Demonstrating their skills under the most intense spotlight, Lee Kang-in showcased his exceptional talent with his impressive passes using his left foot, while Hwang Hee-chan, who scored the thrilling winning goal in a 2-1 victory against Portugal, secured their advancement into the round of 16 with his impactful contributions off the bench.
In-beom Hwang has potentially emerged as the general midfield warrior for the next decade with a series of energetic and confident displays. His mannerisms, both on and off the field, are understated.
Gue-sung Cho, who seems to have gained worldwide recognition for his looks rather than his displayed ability, could potentially earn a move abroad in the near future, suggesting glimpses of his ability were displayed brilliantly with a brace-taken against Ghana, which he won in place of starting.
The remainder of the soccer world is now aware, however, they were aware of it themselves, South Korea is not solely defined by Son. Evidently.
Despite suffering a heavy defeat, Qatar departs with their pride intact, but the average fan will recognize a few more faces.
And not only Cho Gue-sung.