South Korea will have two things to offer when they face Portugal in their must-win final Group H game at the World Cup collective dedication and passion, as they hope for a miracle to qualify for the last 16 on Friday.
The Koreans are third in Group H with one point and must beat Portugal to have a chance to progress to the knockout stage for the third time after 2002 and 2010.
Portugal have already qualified but still need a point to guarantee top spot so might not field a reserve team at the Education City stadium.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo’s availability is still in question after he missed Wednesday’s training and stayed at the gym to do recovery and specific exercises.
South Korea coach Paulo Bento, a former Portugal international, said on Thursday that his home country have one of the greatest generations of Portuguese football.
South Korea lost 3-2 to Ghana in their second game after an opening 0-0 draw with Uruguay and have their backs to the wall.
“We don’t have anywhere else to go than forward,” said Kim on Thursday.
Injury concerns for Portugal
Portugal opened their campaign in Qatar with a 3-2 victory against Ghana before enjoying a more controlled 2-0 win over Uruguay on Monday (November 28).
But they are not assured of finishing top of their group, a position that would likely see them avoid Brazil in the last 16.
Coach Fernando Santos is likely to be forced into more changes to his starting 11 after left-back Nuno Mendes suffered an injury in the first half against Uruguay and was replaced by Raphael Guerreiro.
Centre half Danilo Pereira is sidelined with broken ribs so 39-year-old defender Pepe is likely to keep his place and be tasked with marking South Korean striker Cho Gue-sung, who scored twice in three minutes against Ghana