back-to-back victories Qualifying with one game remaining. Cristiano Ronaldo has already scored a goal. Portugal’s World Cup group stage performance was practically perfect.
Portugal must earn a point against South Korea in its last Group H encounter on Friday in order to secure top position. That might have the benefit of keeping Brazil out of the final 16.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos remarked, “If we had to play each other, it would be a battle between two outstanding teams.” But Brazil and we would prefer to meet later.
Santos stated that he wasn’t going to rest too many important players against South Korea after the team’s 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Sunday. The exception might be Ronaldo.
Three matches in nine days may be too much for the 37-year-old striker, who hasn’t seen much action for Manchester United this season. Ronaldo’s contract with the English club was recently terminated following his explosive pre-World Cup interview, in which he criticised the club’s manager, owners, and even some of his teammates.
There is a chance that Ronaldo may be kept in the tournament’s last 16 despite skipping team practise on Wednesday in favour of working out in the gym. That would present a rare opportunity for players like Gonçalo Ramos or Andre Silva to start up front.
Danilo Pereira, the centre defender, who fractured three ribs in a training accident last week, as well as Nuno Mendes, the left back, who was replaced in the first half of the match against Uruguay due to a muscle injury, are also expected to miss the game.
If chosen, playmaker Bruno Fernandes will try to build on his recent success, in which he has scored two goals, one of which Cristiano Ronaldo challenged against Uruguay, and assisted in the creation of two more.
To join Portugal in progressing from the group, South Korea needs a victory as well as a favourable result in the other game taking place simultaneously between Ghana and Uruguay.
South Korea will not qualify regardless of their performance at Education City Stadium outside of Doha if Ghana wins. Ghana is in second place with three points, three behind Portugal and two ahead of South Korea and Uruguay.