This is a place of ‘miracles’! Klinsmann relives Qatar WC myth…”I wrote the drama in the same place”
A dramatic goal in the same place. Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea once again produced a drama-filled moment in the same place where they wrote a miracle in 2022.
The South Koreans advanced to the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup Qatar 2023 with a penalty shootout victory over Saudi Arabia in the Round of 16 at the Al Rayyan Education City Stadium in Qatar on March 31 (ET).
South Korea fielded a three-back on the day. Cho Hyun-woo was named the starting goalkeeper, with Kim Young-kwon, Kim Min-jae, and Jeong Seung-hyun in the defense. Seol Young-woo, Hwang In-beom, Lee Jae-sung, and Kim Tae-hwan lined up in the middle, while Jung Woo-young, Son Heung-min, and Lee Kang-in led the attack.
The teams exchanged attacks midway through the first half. South Korea opened the scoring in the 26th minute when Son Heung-min found space behind the Saudi defense and fired a right-footed shot into the back of the net. The Saudis had a chance off a corner kick in the final minute of the first half. Back-to-back headers hit the post and South Korea narrowly escaped the danger.
At the start of the second half, Roberto Mancini made a change. He took off the ineffective Shehri and brought on Radif. Radif immediately opened the scoring for South Korea. The ball was played in from the back and Al Dawsari touched it to Radif past Kim Min-jae. Radif rattled the net with a calm finish in a one-on-one situation.
Klinsmann made a tactical change by bringing on Hwang Hee-chan, Cho Kyu-sung, and Park Yong-woo, but it didn’t produce any results. With 10 minutes of second-half stoppage time, it looked like the game was over, but a miracle happened for the Koreans.
Nine minutes into second-half stoppage time, Kim Tae-hwan’s ball into the penalty box from the right flank was crossed back into the center by Seol Young-woo, who finished off Cho Kyu-sung for a dramatic equalizer. Cho’s theatrical goal sent the game into overtime.
After failing to find a winner in extra time, the teams headed to penalty kicks, with Cho stepping up to the plate. He saved both Saudi Arabia’s third and fourth kicks. South Korea won the penalty shootout 4-2 on Hwang Hee-chan’s kick to advance to the quarterfinals.
After the match, the official FIFA World Cup Instagram account posted a message. ”The Korean national team created drama at Education City Stadium. A theater goal win over Portugal at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and a penalty shootout win over Saudi Arabia at the Asian Cup.”
Education City Stadium holds fond memories for the Korean national team. The team played all three of their Group H matches at the World Cup in Qatar. It’s also where Cho Kyu-sung scored a multi-goal performance against Ghana in the second round.
It was also the venue where South Korea secured their second ever away round of 16. The South Koreans faced Portugal in their third group game with a 1-1 draw. After conceding an early goal, Kim Young-kwon equalized the game and Hwang Hee-chan scored the winner in stoppage time.
The South Korean national team earned one win and one draw with a 2-1 victory over Portugal. At the same time, the third-place game between Ghana and Uruguay was taking place, which ended in a 2-0 victory for Uruguay, and South Korea miraculously advanced to the round of 16. The team even recreated the sliding ceremony from the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup.
Now, the team is changing venues. They will face Australia in the quarterfinals at Al Janoub Stadium on March 3 at 0:30 am. Al Janub Stadium is where South Korea drew 3-3 with Malaysia in their third group game. They will be looking to reach the quarterfinals at a venue other than Education City Stadium.