Again-to-back wins. Qualification with a sport to spare. Cristiano Ronaldo already among the many objective scorers. The group stage might hardly have gone any higher for Portugal on the World Cup.
There’s nonetheless one unfastened finish to tie up.
Portugal wants some extent in its final Group H match in opposition to South Korea on Friday to ensure ending in first place. Which may include a perk — avoiding Brazil within the final 16.
“If we needed to face one another, it could be a sport between two nice groups,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos stated. “However our want, and Brazil’s, is that we meet in a while.”
After the 2-0 win over Uruguay on Sunday, Santos stated he wasn’t planning to relaxation too many key gamers in opposition to South Korea. Ronaldo could also be an exception.
Three video games in 9 days might show to be an excessive amount of for the 37-year-old striker, who hasn’t performed vital minutes this season for Manchester United — the English workforce which just lately terminated its contract with Ronaldo after his explosive pre-World Cup interview blasting the membership’s supervisor, house owners and even his teammates.
Ronaldo missed workforce coaching on Wednesday, as an alternative finishing a session within the gymnasium, and there’s an opportunity he’s saved for the final 16. That might give the likes of Gonçalo Ramos or Andre Silva a uncommon likelihood to begin up entrance.
Additionally set to be lacking are heart again Danilo Pereira, who broke three ribs in coaching final week, and left again Nuno Mendes, who was substituted within the first half in opposition to Uruguay due to a muscle damage.
If chosen, playmaker Bruno Fernandes will look to proceed his sturdy kind that has seen him rating two objectives — one in all them contested by Ronaldo in opposition to Uruguay — and arrange two others.
South Korea wants a win in addition to a favor within the different sport going down concurrently, between Ghana and Uruguay, to affix Portugal in advancing from the group.
A win for Ghana, which is in second place on three factors — three behind Portugal and two away from South Korea and Uruguay, means the South Koreans can not qualify no matter their consequence at Schooling Metropolis Stadium outdoors Doha.
Son Heung-min has but to attain on the event for South Korea, which adopted a 0-0 draw in opposition to Uruguay with a wild 3-2 loss to Ghana. Son, although, doesn’t appear to be too affected by carrying a protecting masks after sustaining a number of fractures round his left eye in a problem whereas enjoying for Tottenham within the Champions League.