Match Analysis: South Korea 0-1 Belgium

Sports Mole picks apart the action from Belgium's 1-0 win over South Korea in the final game of World Cup Group H.

Belgium cemented their position as Group H winners with a 1-0 win over South Korea this evening in Sao Paulo.

Jan Vertonghen scored the only goal of the game after 76 minutes, even though his team played the second half a man down following Steven Defour's first-half sending-off.

South Korea, meanwhile, limped out with a solitary point from their three matches.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the action.

Match statistics

SOUTH KOREA
Shots: 9
On target: 4
Possession: 55%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 16

Russia
Shots: 12
On target: 5
Possession: 45%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 12

Was the result fair?

Overall, a 1-0 victory for the Belgians probably was a fair result. Despite being reduced to 10 men before the interval after Steven Defour's brainless foul, the European side showed intelligence and ambition to win the game. South Korea pressed forward often, especially in the second half, but they rarely created good chances or tests for Thibault Courtois in the Belgium goal.

South Korea's performance

Though they were a team that needed to win the game by a big margin to go through, they simply didn't show that they were anything near capable of doing so. Belgium are obviously a very good team, but it was hoped that the Asians would show more in their pursuit of three points. After two good performances in their first matches, Son Heung-Min was disappointing in midfield tonight, rarely finding space to work any magic. Kim Shin-Wook was also fairly anonymous up front, which was a shame considering his display as a substitute against Algeria on Sunday earned him a starting spot.

Belgium's performance

In the first half the Belgians controlled the game, but only created one good chance which Dries Mertens blazed over. With half time approaching, Steven Defour - who was having a good game - made a ridiculous tackle on Kim and rightly saw red, making things hard for his teammates after the break. Although South Korea had decent spells offensively, Belgium's defensive resilience was superb to watch. The introduction of Divock Origi gave them someone capable of running at the Korean backline, and they eventually broke them down and nicked a winner.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Anthony Vanden Borre: With Toby Alderweireld one booking away from suspension, Marc Wilmots decided to rest him and give 26 year-old Anderlecht right-back Anthony Vanden Borre a start instead. The understudy didn't disappoint, with some marauding runs down the wing creating some of Belgium's best moments. He was also solid defensively when required, and Wilmots will be pleased to know that if Alderweireld gets injured or suspended, Vanden Borre is more than capable of stepping up.

Biggest gaffe

It has to be Defour's moment of madness, committing an awful two-footed lunge on Kim Shin-Wook just before half time. It was such an unnecessary challenge, especially when his team were in control and only in need of a point. He's now suspended for the next round, with Wilmots unlikely to trust him again if Belgium progress past the USA. In one idiotic moment, Defour's World Cup is probably over.

Referee performance

Australian official Ben Williams had no choice but to send Defour off before half time. The midfielder left at least one foot on Kim's shin, and it was a dangerous tackle worthy of a red card. Aside from that, he maybe could have awarded Vanden Borre a penalty in the first half when tripped, though it might have been a tad harsh on Hong Jeong-Ho.

What next?

South Korea: Having come into the tournament in poor form, South Korea's group-stage exit is of little surprise. They'll go home and dust themselves down, with the future of coach Hong Myung-Bo likely to be hanging in the balance.

Belgium: As winners of Group H, Belgium will meet USA next Tuesday in Salvador for the right to play Argentina or Switzerland in the last eight.

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Jan Vertonghen of Belgium celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between South Korea and Belgium at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 26, 2014
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