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(LEAD) (World Cup) Portugal blank Uruguay to clinch knockout berth; S. Korea in 3rd place

Sports 07:31 November 29, 2022

(ATTN: FIXES details in para 4)
By Yoo Jee-ho

LUSAIL, Qatar, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- Portugal defeated Uruguay 2-0 on Monday to become the first Group H team to book a knockout spot, leaving South Korea in third place in the process.

Bruno Fernandes scored both Portugal goals at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha, as the European side improved to six points.

Portugal players celebrate a goal by Bruno Fernandes against Uruguay during the teams' Group H match at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha, on Nov. 28, 2022. (Yonhap)

Portugal players celebrate a goal by Bruno Fernandes against Uruguay during the teams' Group H match at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha, on Nov. 28, 2022. (Yonhap)

They have secured at least second place in the group ahead of their final match against South Korea at 6 p.m. Friday at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, west of Doha.

South Korea, 3-2 losers to Ghana earlier in the day, are in third place with one point. Uruguay dropped to last place, also at one point. South Korea hold the tiebreak edge over Uruguay in goal difference, -1 to -2.

Ghana are in second place with three points.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal takes a free kick against Uruguay during the teams' Group H match at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha, on Nov. 28, 2022. (Yonhap)

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal takes a free kick against Uruguay during the teams' Group H match at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha, on Nov. 28, 2022. (Yonhap)

Fernandes broke the deadlock with a cross attempt from outside the left edge of the box that bounced into the net. Cristiano Ronaldo sneaked behind the defense to try to meet the ball in the air, but didn't make any contact with it. Ronaldo was initially credited with the goal.

Portugal dominated the run of play from start to finish, though Uruguay came within inches of drawing level when substitute Maxi Gomez struck the right post in the 75th minute.

Fernandes then sealed the deal by converting a penalty during stoppage time. The midfielder had drawn the penalty himself, as Jose Maria Gimenez committed a handball while falling down in an attempt to stop Fernandes' foray into the box.

To reach the round of 16, South Korea must defeat Portugal and hope that Uruguay will beat Ghana. In that scenario, Portugal will still win the group at six points, and South Korea and Uruguay will be tied for the second-most points at four apiece. They will then go to a tiebreaker, with goal difference being the first category, followed by goals scored.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

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