After South Korea qualifies, three AFC countries into FIFA World Cup round of 16 for the first time

Three countries from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) made it to the knockouts for the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, in Qatar.

Hee-Chan Hwang of Korea Republic celebrates after the 2-1 win during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Korea Republic and Portugal at Education City Stadium on December 02, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar.

Hee-Chan Hwang of Korea Republic celebrates after the 2-1 win during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Korea Republic and Portugal at Education City Stadium on December 02, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Three countries from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) made it to the knockouts for the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, in Qatar.

After South Korea beat Portugal tonight and Japan stunned Spain yesterday, the number of countries from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in the round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup rose to three, in Qatar.

South Korea rode on the late second-half injury time goal buy Hee-Chan Hwang to secure its place in the final sixteen while Uruguay’s two goals were not enough to help its cause, so late in the tournament.

Australia became the first AFC nation to make the cut after successive wins over Tunisia and Denmark, after a drubbing to France in its opening World Cup match.

In Group E, Japan stunned Spain with two second half goals to become only the third team in World Cup history to win two different games at a single edition in which it was losing at half-time, after Brazil in 1938 and Germany in 1970.

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With the win, Japan emulated its comeback, as it did against Germany and finished as the Group topper in Group E. South Korea became the latest entry into the round of 16 from Asia, with the win.

Australia will play Argentina in the knockouts on December 4, while Japan will lock horns with Croatia the next day. South Korea’s next opponent is yet to be decided, with Group G in action now. The topper from Group G will play the Koreans in the knockouts.

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