Live coverage of the World Cup Group H match between South Korea and Belgium.
By Joe McPhee Filed: Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 20:00 UK
Last Updated: Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 17:26 UK
Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the final World Cup Group H game between South Korea and Belgium in Sao Paulo.
The Belgians ensured their 100% record in the group stage remained in tact via a Jan Vertonghen goal in the 76th minute. The three points means that they comfortably qualified in first place, while South Korea limped out with just one point from three games.
Read how the action unfolded below.
8.03pmGood evening and welcome to the live coverage of tonight's World Cup Group H clash between South Korea and Belgium here on Sports Mole. This fixture - and the Algeria vs. Russia match - conclude the group stage of what has been a simply brilliant World Cup so far.
8.06pmToday's action has obviously been overshadowed somewhat by the Luis Suarez news. However hopefully tonight we'll have some actual entertaining football to talk about. In truth, this hasn't been the most entertaining group, but to be fair, Korea's last game against the Algerians was a high-scoring and entertaining affair and a repeat of that here would be most welcome.
8.11pmWith six points from their two matches, the Belgians are safely through to the Last 16. Despite qualifying, they do still need a point tonight to confirm they place as winners of Group H. Should they draw or win, they'll face USA, who finished runners up in Group G earlier this evening. The second place team from this group will be taking on Germany.
8.13pmSouth Korea's position in the group is a tad more complicated. If Hong Myung-Bo's men can win tonight, they will qualify, so long as they better any win Russia secure. However, if Algeria win, they will progress instead, regardless of what Korea do. A draw in the other match will also send the African nation through, unless South Korea can win this one by three goals or more.
8.14pmConfused? Me too. Hopefully things will become a little clearer as the two games play out. Anyway, the starting lineups have been announced, so let's have a look at who managers Hong and Marc Wilmots have chosen to lead their sides this evening.
8.15pmSouth Korea: Kim Seung-Gyu, Yun Suk-Young, Kim Young-Gwon, Son Heung-Min, Kim Shin-Wook, Lee Young, Koo Ja-Cheoi, Han Kook-Young, Ki Sung-Yueng, Lee Chung-Yong, Hong Jeong-Ho.
8.20pmAfter naming an unchanged 11 against Algeria and falling to defeat, Hong has made two alterations this time around.
8.22pmKim Seung-Gyu replaces Jun Sung-Ryong in between the sticks and Kim Shin-Wook is in for Park Chu-Young up front. The change in goal is a little surprising, given that Jun probably wasn't at fault for at least three of Algeria's four goals on Sunday.
8.23pmThe striking change however comes as no shock. Park's two performances so far have been less than impressive, while Kim's introduction against the Africans definitely improved the side. The 26-year-old stands at 6ft 5in - a Korean Peter Crouch if you will - and he's a real target man in the box. When he came on in the last game, the team looked for him often and he had a hand in both of their goals. Hong is obviously hoping he can have another positive impact this evening.
8.27pmFor Belgium, Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj makes his tournament bow. Kevin Mirallas also comes into the lineup, though their is no place for striker Divock Origi, who scored the winner against Russia at the weekend.
8.28pmJan Vertonghen is back in the team after Thomas Vermaelen sustained injury on Sunday, while Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld and Axel Witsel are all rested ahead of the knockout stage. It's a wise move, given that the latter two are both a caution away from suspension.
8.36pmThe inclusion of Januzaj is pretty exciting stuff. The youngster had a number of nations competing against each other to have him represent them, with the nationality of his parents and his own passport status meaning that he had a big choice to make prior to the World Cup; even England where in the mix for his services. Wisely, he opted for the country of his birth, but just think, he could've been home and on his holidays already had he joined up with Roy's boys!
8.39pmThe Belgians are unbeaten in three previous meetings between the two sides, dating back to the Italia 90 World Cup. Belgium won 2-0 that day. They drew in France eight years later, before a friendly the following year and the teams haven't faced each other since.
8.44pmTonight's match is the fourth of six tournament matches which Sao Paulo's Arena Corinthians will host this summer. Hosts Brazil kicked-off the World Cup here two weeks ago, while Uruguay ended England's hopes here and the Dutch beat Chile 2-0. It will also be the stage for one match in the next stage of the competition, as well as one of the semi-finals.
8.48pmWe have Australian officials in charge of this one, and 37 year-old Ben Williams is the man with the whistle tonight. Williams is a PE teacher from Canberra, but he has a pretty full refereeing CV. As well as taking charge of games in many A-Leagues games down under, he has AFC Champions League experience, and he also reffed games at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
8.52pm PREDICTION: Though three points aren't required to top the group, I expect Belgium to win here. They need a decent performance after two 'just doing enough' victories, so they'll want to bow out of the group stages on a high. South Korea meanwhile have struggled in both games, especially when bodies run at their defence. I think 3-1 in favour of the Europeans.
8.54pmWe're just over five minutes away from kick-off here. The teams are about to enter the field and sing their national anthems, then we'll be getting down to business.
8.58pmLee, Han, Ki, Son and Koo are all on bookings for South Korea by the way, so if one were to get booked tonight, they would miss the next match.
0 minKick Off We're underway here, with Belgium, all in black getting us started.
0 minMirallas gets down the left straight away. He pulls the ball back but fails to find a teammate.
0 minSouth Korea go straight up the other end, with Son's through ball aimed at two men standing in offside positions.
2 minIt's a pretty lively start here. South Korea need to go for the three points so hopefully that will make this an entertaining game.
3 minDembele bumps heads with Kim Shin-Wook and is down receiving treatment.
4 minKim claims for a foul in a clash with Lombaerts. It's a nothing collision and the referee is uninterested.
5 minVan Buyten plays the ball over the top in search of Mirallas but the Everton man is offside.
6 minMertens runs at the Korean defence down the left again but his deflected cross goes into the arms of Kim. Up the other end, Korea twice ask for penalties, with Lee and then captain Koo hitting the deck. Neither look like spot kicks to me or the ref, and play continues.
7 minKi jumps all over Fellaini, who in fairness is much, much taller than him. He'll have his work cut out aerially tonight. Free kick.
9 minUPDATE: Russia have taken the lead in the other game in this group through an Aleksandr Kokorin header. As things stand, they'll be joining Belgium in the Last 16.
11 minThis game has settled a bit. Korea are pressing the Belgian defensive line but they look pretty comfortable at the moment.
13 minSon briefly gets in behind the defence. He takes too long deciding whether to pass or shoot and instead hacks it out to the right wing. Lee Young does excellently to keep it in play, however his cross is far too high when it comes in.
15 minVanden Borre attacks down the Russian right, step-overing his way past Han. Han's methods of stopping him look like a foul to me, though nothing is given. As his run ended, he was in the box and he wanted a penalty.
17 minVertonghen eyes up a free kick from fully 35 yards. The defender blazes high and wide, leaving Kim untroubled.
18 minDembele loses the ball in midfield. Ki picks it up and searches for Koo, with the slow play allowing for the Belgians to get back in numbers.
19 minAlthough replays show that Mirallas is definitely offside, it's a very late flag from the linesman when the striker looks as if he is through on goal. Fellaini had won the ball in the middle and released him.
21 minLee Young attempts to play in Lee Chung Yong down the right touchline but his pass is slightly too hard. Unlucky though.
22 minExcellent play from Mirallas in the box. First, he shapes to shoot but he's forced out wide. When he runs past two Korean defenders, he whips in a dangerous ball. Unfortunately for him, nobody had kept up to get on the end of it.
24 minCHANCE! Oh what a miss from Dries Mertens! Easily the game's best chance, and he has blazed it way over the top. Vertonghen's throw was met by Fellaini, whose knock down fell to Mirallas and eventually bounced to Mertens. With the goal gaping, he somehow completely misses the target. Very poor effort.
26 minA marauding run from Dembele ends with the Spurs man looking for Mertens. It's a poor ball and Korea cut it out.
28 minVanden Borre wins the ball in a defensive position before playing an awful ball straight to Ki. The Sunderland man fancies a pop but drags it way wide of the goal.
29 minSHOT! Dembele is robbed in the middle by Koo and the Korean's are encouraged to attack. Ki takes another effort from distance, this time much better and Courtois is forced to make a good save.
30 minSAVE! Courtois springs into action again from the resulting corner, with Son's flick cleared off the line by a combination of keeper and defender. I think it was Van Buyten.
31 minBelgium get up the pitch and Vanden Borre crosses from the right. Goalkeeper Kim again opts to punch the ball when perhaps a catch would've been the better choice.
32 minIt was Defour actually who cleared that Korean header off the line just now, and I think he saved an own goal as it looked to me as if Vertonghen was the one who got the most on it.
34 minSHOT! Defour slips Mertens in inside the box. He shapes to bend the ball into the corner but instead hits it almost as high as his previous effort. To be fair, this was a harder chance.
35 minYELLOW CARD! Hong is the first name in the book for a tug on Mirallas after he won an aerial dual between the two.
35 minFrom the in-swinging free kick, Kim tips the ball over his bar. Belgium surely need to test the young goalie more, as he doesn't exactly look at ease tonight.
36 minJanuzaj finally gets the ball and runs at the defence. Ki cynically pushes him in the back and Belgium have a dangerous looking set piece.
37 minVertonghen leathers another free kick towards goal, charged down by Lee Young. The Spurs man complains that the defender wasn't a full ten yards back but gets nothing.
38 minUp until just now, Januzaj really hasn't seen much of the ball. This game is passing him by somewhat so far.
39 minKi looks for Hong from a free kick but Fellaini blocks him off. Korea haven't got Kim Shin-Wook involved at all yet, which is a shame after the impact he made against Algeria last week.
41 minSHOT! It's as if Mertens is desperate to atone for that miss earlier, as he attempts a half-volley from around 35 yards. He strikes it cleanly, but Kim is equal to it and shows safe hands. Better from the goalkeeper certainly.
43 minRED CARD! From absolutely nowhere, Steven Defour is shown a straight red for a challenge on Kim Shin-Wook. It's a dreadful two-footed tackle and the referee shows no hesitation in sending him off. His first and probably last appearance of the tournament.
44 minThat was such an unnecessary challenge from Defour. I have no idea why he'd go in like that, and I think the Australian official has made the correct call there.
45 minThe Korean's will have their tails up now. We'll have two added minutes.
9.48pmWell, what an end to the half, with Defour's red card meaning the second half will be a little different to what we've seen so far. It was a really stupid and poor challenge to make from the Porto midfielder.
9.50pmBefore that, it had been a bit of a nothing game in truth. Mertens definitely should have given Belgium the lead with that guilt-edged chance on 24 minutes, while Korea's closest two efforts came via Ki's shot and the resulting corner.
9.51pmBesides those, this one had been really more of a midfield battle. But it certainly hadn't been a dirty game, making Defour's red card even more surprising.
9.52pmI'd be surprised if Divock Origi isn't introduced up front for Belgium at some stage, because although Mertens looks the most likely of making something happen, they're missing some cutting edge at present. Mirallas is trying hard but to no avail, while Januzaj has been completely anonymous so far.
9.53pmI've just seen Defour's tackle again and honestly, it's woeful. As Kim's leg is grounded, the Belgian simply studs him in the shin, leaving the Korean man lucky that he's not been injured by it.
9.55pmOne thing I will say about Belgium's substitutes is that all three of their World Cup strikes so far have come via men off the bench. Perhaps they will break the deadlock the same way again?
9.55pmThis 0-0 at the moment is enough for Belgium to qualify in top spot. With Russia winning the other match, they're currently in the runners up position, while Algeria are in third and the Koreans prop up the standings. Still all the play for in the second half.
45 minSubstitution Han Kook-Young is replaced by Lee Keun-Ho, who scored the Korean's first goal of the World Cup in the game against Russia.
45 minWe're back underway, and immediately Hong looks in trouble with a muscle strain. He's down and the stretcher is on.
46 minHong recovers, allowing Mertens to throw the ball back to Kim and get this game back underway.
48 minBelgium look like they're playing a 4-4-1 now following the sending off of Defour. The second half has started very slowly indeed.
49 minYELLOW CARD! Dembele fouls Ki, although not badly, but the Belgium midfielder is penalised for kicking the ball away. More stupid stuff from the Belgian midfielders.
50 minSHOT! Ki shapes to shoot from distance. His shot is always rising, leaving Courtois untroubled.
51 minCLOSE! A brilliant cross-field ball from Ki allows sub Lee to break into the box. Courtois comes out, making himself big and conceding a corner. From the set piece, Lee nearly gets his head to it, Fellaini just pipping him in the air.
52 minSouth Korea seem encouraged by being a man up now, and they're definitely on the front foot. Son plays in Lee, whose shot is deflected for another corner kick.
54 minFinally, Belgium advance into Korean territory when Fellaini nicks the ball past Hong and goes down in the box. The ref agains waves play on, and you wonder if the Man Utd man could've reached that if he'd stayed on his feet.
56 minKim shows good hands when Vanden Borre launches a free kick into the South Korean box.
57 minKi releases Yun but the left back wastes the good crossing position with a poor ball.
58 minCHANCE! Mirallas shoots from outside of the box. His low, dipping shot is well matched by Kim and Korea clear. The ball ends with Son emerging down the right, and his cross strikes the crossbar and goes to safety! A great thirty seconds of end to end stuff.
59 minSUBSTITUTION! Double change for Belgium as Origi comes on for Mertens and Chadli replaces Januzaj.
60 minCourtois saves easily from a Lee's header from a corner. The crowd gasp, but the goalkeeper was always comfortable.
61 minUPDATE: The Algerians have equalised against Russia, so now move back into second place in the table.
63 minOrigi twists and turns and delivers into the box. Unfortunately, nobody is there on the end of it, but it was nice play from the forward.
65 minSouth Korea move into the area and Lee Chung-Young goes down lightly. I hope he didn't want a penalty there, as Vanden Borre barely touched him.
66 minSUBSTITUTION! Kim Bo-Kyung enters the fray in place of the big man Kim up top. It's a shame for the forward - he just didn't get involved tonight.
67 minFellaini meets a corner, getting in front of Koo - who'd rather foul the Belgian. However, the flicked effort doesn't have enough on it and it flies well wide.
69 minChadli does well in midfield, releasing Mirallas on the right. His touch is poor but he keeps it in, sprays it left, and Vertonghen shoots from distance into the Brazilian night.
70 minYun just about keeps the ball in on the left, feeding Ki. He then finds Lee, who plays a poor cross into the area. The atmosphere here has really picked up, despite this not being the greatest game.
71 minVanden Borre plays an excellent ball down the line to Origi, forcing Hong to make a last-ditch tackle in the box to concede a corner. Good defending.
71 minCLOSE! Origi meets the corner with a good header, and even though it seems to flick off Lee, the ref awards a goal kick.
72 minExcellent play from Chadli after Ki loses the ball. The Spurs winger cuts in from the left but Korea block it and it goes for another corner.
72 minSUBSTITUTION! It hasn't been Son's night tonight, and this is confirmed as he's replaced by ex-Sunderland striker Ji Dong-Won.
73 minYou feel as if there might be a goal coming here, with both sides showing attacking intent now.
75 minSurprisingly, Eden Hazard is warming up. Belgium surely won't use him in a game where they don't need to, would they?
76 minKi tries to find space on the edge of the box but Lombaerts gets in an important block.
77 minFinally, the deadlock is broken and it's via defender Jan Vertonghen. Belgium break with Fellaini, who feeds Origi, but the striker hesitates and the chance looks gone. Instead, they win it back quickly and he gets another chance. This time, he stings the palms of Kim, who can only parry into Vertonghen's path and he slams home from close range.
79 minBelgium looking likely to head through with three wins from three. A tie with the USA awaits them in the next round.
80 minA frustrated Kim Bo-Kyung runs out of pitch, allowing Vanden Borre to take his time with a throw in as Belgium look to kill the game.
82 minOrigi battles well to win possession for his side, taking on four Korean defenders on his own. He wins a free-kick in a good area - he's been extremely positive since he came on.
83 minCool defending from Lombaerts, who heads back to his keeper as Korea look to break into the box.
84 minSouth Korea's slow build up outside the area is easy for Belgium to defend at the moment.
85 minVanden Borre tries to run the clock down in the corner but Korea rob him and Ki finds Ji. Again, the Asians waste the ball and the attack fizzles out.
86 minSUBSTITUTION! Hazard is coming on for a cameo appearance. He's on for Kevin Mirallas.
88 minChadli wins the ball, playing it to Origi. The striker shows neat footwork to beat two men, before Hazard is fouled over on the right.
89 minCLOSE! Hazard nearly adds a second for Belgium, forcing Kim to make a great one-handed save. Vanden Borre's cross attempt had flown back to the Chelsea man, who showed quick feet before firing his shot across goal.
90 minCLOSE! Up the other end now, and excellent defending from Fellaini, who gets a toe to a cross which was surely destined for the feet of Lee. Lee Young then blasts a shot down Courtois' throat before a deflected third attempt flies over. Unlucky.
90+1 minOrigi wastes possession when Korea break, allowing Kim to make an easy save.
90+2 minConcern for Belgium as Vanden Borre goes down from Lee's challenge.
90+2 minIt was a really clever flick from Lee the substitute during that chance for Korea a few moments ago. Courtois' save was a good one. The goalkeeper still hasn't lost for his country in 20 appearances.
90+4 minFULL TIME: SOUTH KOREA 0-1 BELGIUM - SOUTH KOREA ARE ELIMINATED
10.53pmSo that's that for the Korean's at the 2014 World Cup then, with Algeria picking up the draw they needed to progress against Russia.
10.54pmThis was pretty easy going for Belgium, despite being reduced to ten men before the break. They did just enough for the third game in succession, and Marc Wilmots will hope that his team will get stronger as the tournament goes on.
10.55pmIt's a rare day without football here tomorrow on Sports Mole, but be sure to join us again on Saturday when we'll have coverage of the first two games from the next round. We'll have all the reaction and analysis from this encounter shortly. See you next time.