Korea Advances to Final Round of World Cup Qualifiers

  • By Song Won-hyung

    June 14, 2021 09:36

    Korea beat Lebanon 2-1 at home on Sunday in the second round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

    Lebanon took the lead in the first half of the match after Hassan Ali Saad scored in the 13th minute, and then focused on delaying tactics to make it difficult for Korea to make up the ground.

    But Korea managed to equalize in the 51st minute when Song Min-kyu's header deflected off Maher Sabra of Lebanon. It was recorded as an own goal. Then some 15 minutes later, Son Heung-min added another goal with a penalty.

    Son Heung-min whispers to a TV camera to send a get-well message to his former teammate Christian Eriksen after scoring a goal in a match against Lebanon in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on Sunday. /Newsis

    After scoring the goal, Son went to a TV camera and prayed for his former Tottenham Hotspur teammate Christian Eriksen, saying, "Stay strong. I love you." The Denmark midfielder was taken to a hospital the previous day after collapsing on the field during a match at the European Championship. He is now said to be awake and in a stable condition.

    Manager Paulo Bento celebrates with players after a match against Lebanon in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on Sunday. /Newsis

    With Sunday's victory, Korea earned a total of 16 points with five wins and one draw, securing the top spot in its group with Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan and advancing to the final round.

    The third and final round of Asian qualifiers will feature 12 teams in two groups. Each country will play 10 matches from September. The top two finishers in each group will qualify for the World Cup. The group draw will take place on July 1.

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