A “united” South Korea will be fired up by a burning sense of injustice when it faces Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal later this week as it fights to keep its World Cup alive.
Coach Paulo Bento and his players were left fuming at the conclusion of Monday’s 3-2 defeat to Ghana after English referee Anthony Taylor blew the final whistle before they could take a corner.
The defeat, having stormed back from 2-0 down before Mohammed Kudus’s 68th-minute winner for Ghana, left Son Heung-min’s side on the brink of elimination ahead of their final Group H game against Portugal on Friday.
Taylor sent off an irate Bento after the final whistle when the Portuguese coach and his players including skipper Son angrily confronted the referee.
Bento will now be suspended for the showdown against his native Portugal, who have already qualified for the last 16.
“It will be a loss but it will make us better, united... we will show all our qualities,” his assistant Sergio Costa told reporters afterwards of Bento’s absence from the bench for the Portugal game.
“We have a feeling of a lack of justice but I think we also have to be very proud of what we did. We gave our souls on the pitch.”
Spurs striker Son has been playing in Qatar in a mask after having surgery for a fracture around his left eye earlier this month.
The 30-year-old was distraught after the game and told reporters: “I am really sorry to all of our fans who cheered for us.”
Midfielder Hwang In-beom is refusing to give up hope.
“Our World Cup doesn’t end here and our football careers don’t end here either,” he said.
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