Son and South Korea train for Portugal with World Cup last-16 spot on the line

Ghana and Uruguay also eye qualification to next round from Group H on Friday

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South Korea will need a mixture of effort and luck in order to advance to the next stage of World Cup 2022 as they prepare to face Portugal in their final group game on Friday.

The Asian side are third in Group H on one point, five behind group leaders and the already qualified Portugal, and two points behind Ghana.

The Koreans will need to not only win but also have the other game taking place concurrently - between Ghana and Uruguay - go in their favour to join Portugal in advancing from the group.

A win for Ghana would take them to six points and will mean the end of South Korea's campaign irrespective of their match against the Portuguese.

However, South Korea can qualify if they win their match and Ghana lose their game or draw with an inferior goal difference. Victory for Uruguay would also move them up to four points and in contention for qualification.

Son Heung-min has yet to score at the tournament for South Korea, which followed a 0-0 draw against Uruguay with a wild 3-2 loss to Ghana. Son has competed in Qatar while wearing a protective mask after sustaining multiple fractures around his left eye in a challenge while playing for Tottenham in the Champions League.

There is also the possibility that Cristiano Ronaldo could be rested for the game with the team already through. Three games in nine days could prove to be too much for the 37-year-old striker, who hasn’t played significant minutes this season for Manchester United.

Ronaldo missed team training on Wednesday, instead completing a session in the gym, and there’s a chance he is saved for the last 16. But he took part in training on Thursday. If Ronaldo is still out, that would give the likes of Goncalo Ramos or Andre Silva a rare chance to start up front.

Updated: December 02, 2022, 2:50 AM