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26 June 2014
• Arena Corinthians, São Paulo, São Paulo
Referee: B. Williams
• Attendance: 61397
J. Vertonghen 77'
South Korea are out at the foot of the group, while Belgium win Group H. Due to a Slimani goal, Algeria draw and head into the knockout stages as runners-up. That's all we have time for from Sao Paulo, I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next time.
FULL TIME! Belgium make it three wins in Group H, with a tight 1-0 victory over South Korea, courtesy of a goal from Vertonghen. The Red Devils fought with ten men for over half of the game, but Wilmots' side once again showed that they are capable of grinding out important results.
90' + 3'
Vanden Borre goes down injured, despite both sides being keen to continue proceedings and finish this game. Belgium can afford to concede and will still go through as group winners, so Wilmots' side's job is done.
90' + 2'
Another half chance at the near post for South Korea, but Courtois gets across to his closest upright smartly to beat the ball away! Origi breaks with pace, before sending a low drive straight at Seung-Gyu Kim.
90' + 1'
There are four minutes of stoppage time. Fellaini gets an important touch on a devilish cross along the six-yard box, before Courtois makes a good save from Lee and South Korea win a corner.
HAZARD GOES CLOSE! The Chelsea man is cut the ball back by Vanden Borre, before dynamically driving forward and smashing a right-footed effort towards the far corner! Kim sticks out a strong wrist to deny him, with the rebound just evading Vertonghen and Origi on its way out of the box.
Eden Hazard gets a run out during the last few minutes, as Wilmots opts to utilise his final substitute. Perhaps a bizarre choice, as he is risking a potential injury or booking for his star player, but South Korea certainly have something else to think about.
Vanden Borre impresses the crowd with a lovely piece of skill in the corner, as Belgium try to run down the clock. Courtois takes his time to collect the ball at any occasion, as we're really into the dying embers of the game now.
South Korea press upfield and try to work an overload on either flank, but Belgium are sitting in shape and really frustrating Hong's men. No joy for the opposition, as the Red Devils continue to show that while they haven't been too exciting, they can grind out tight results.
Less then ten minutes remaining, with Origi leading the charge for Belgium. He's fairly raw, but his physicality and drive are giving Belgium a fantastic outlet late on. He wins a free-kick from nothing to allow his side to press forward and have a break.
Belgium are happy to sit back and invite pressure, as a draw is enough to confirm them as group leaders. Origi is the only man being left up top, though his pace and physicality are causing South Korea plenty of problems.
KEUN-HO LEE GETS IN BEHIND! The substitute manages to escape from Van Buyten and reach an optimistic long ball forward, but can only lift a poorly weighted effort over the onrushing Courtois! The Belgian goalkeeper can merely watch as the ball loops onto the roof of the net.
The ten men of Belgium have the lead, with their 100% record looking likely to remain intact. Vertonghen has stepped up to the plate in the second half and his goal is well deserved. From kick-off, South Korea hare forwards, they aren't prepared to go home quite yet.
Goal Jan Vertonghen
GOOOOOOOAL! VERTONGHEN GRABS THE OPENING GOAL! Origi works himself a yard of space, before cracking a ferocious effort straight at Kim! The goalkeeper makes the save but can only parry to Vertonghen, who slams home the rebound emphatically!
Chung-Yong Lee tries to deliver an early cross from the right hand side after combining with Ki well, but his ball is poor. It floats towards the back post but nobody is present to meet it. South Korea continue to desperately press forward in search of a goal.
Koo tries to release a shot deep in the Belgian penalty area, but can't quite dig the ball out of this feet quick enough. He eventually musters a stabbed effort, but Dembele steps in smartly to make a timely interception.
Chadli cuts inside from the left hand side onto his favoured right foot, but sees his eventual shot blocked. Belgium win a corner, but South Korea are able to clear yet again. It's a frantic, end-to-end game now, with either team capable of grabbing the first goal.
Chung-Yong Lee races through the heart of the Belgian defence, before taking one touch too many and being robbed of the ball on the edge of the box. He throws himself to the floor holding his face, but the referee isn't interested. Origi then breaks down the other end of the pitch, winning a corner, but the youngster is denied a headed goal by Keun-Ho Lee.
Yet again, Vertonghen tries to use his left foot to rattle a long-range effort towards goal. It's always rising, as the Spurs man leans back too much at the point of contact with the ball. Ever the optimist.
South Korea combine fairly well on the edge of the penalty area once again, but the eventual cross into the box is claimed confidently by Courtois. The young goalkeeper hasn't put a foot wrong tonight, dealing with plenty of aerial balls well.
Mirallas delivers a reasonable corner, which Fellaini meets on the penalty spot with his head! He is held back somewhat by Koo, but should be doing better, as his can only divert the cross above the crossbar and behind.
A possible change of plan for South Korea now, as Kim Bo-Kyung comes into the fray in place of target man Shin-Wook. The Cardiff playmaker is very technically gifted, whose ability could give Hong's men the cutting edge which they are desperately lacking.
Chung-Yong Lee is almost played in down the left hand side, but fails to beat Vanden Borre. The right-back stands up well and resisted the temptation to dangle a leg in, with the referee asked a couple of questions about a possible penalty yet again.
South Korea continue to look threatening on the break and Son looks to race in between Van Buyten and Vertonghen. The left-back recovers fantastically, sliding in to ensure that the Leverkusen forward didn't have the chance to let fly from the edge of the box.
A couple of positive changes from Belgium, as Origi and Chadli get the opportunity to show what they can do ahead of the Red Devils' knockout fixture. The Lille youngster has already grabbed a goal during this World Cup and Wilmots will be hoping he can have the same impact off the bench tonight.
Son has another effort from a tight angle, but sees the ball deflected behind for a corner. Shin-Wook is picked out from the set piece, beating Lombaerts to the delivery, but Courtois is able to catch the bouncing effort fairly simply.
MERTENS GOES CLOSE! The winger releases a right-footed effort from 25 yards, but Kim gets down smartly to palm it away! South Korea break, courtesy of Son down the right flank, but the Leverkusen man's cross cracks onto Courtois' crossbar and out of the danger zone!
The last ten minutes have consisted of plenty of South Korean pressure, as Hong's side certainly are not prepared to give up on qualifying for the knockout stages quite yet. As long as Russia remain 1-0 leaders against Algeria, South Korea require three points and a few goals without reply.
Januzaj places an incisive through ball forward for Fellaini, with his domestic teammate racing into the box and being caught by Jeoung-Ho Hong. The ball wasn't necessarily within the Belgian midfielder's control, but there was certainly clumsy contact from the defender. The referee waves away Belgium's appeals.
South Korea are really taking the game to Belgium, driving forward at pace and looking to break whenever possible. Son beats Vanden Borre for pace, but his cutback to Keun-Ho Lee is deflected behind for a corner. Ki is starting to run things for his side.
Courtois is forced to race off his line and deny Keun-Ho Lee, as the substitute breaks to the byeline. The resulting corner is turned towards the back post, with the same South Korean midfielder on hand to nod a close-range effort over the crossbar.
Ki tries his luck from range yet again, but Courtois merely has to stand and watch the ball arrow into the crowd. The Swansea midfielder has looked to be South Korea's main goal threat despite sitting a little deeper in midfield - Son has been extremely quiet.
Yellow Card Mousa Dembele
A few substitutes are warming up for Belgium, as Wilmots perhaps may need to make reactive changes as the game progresses. The extra man, given South Korea's intensity and work rate, could prove to be a huge thorn in the Red Devils' side.
One change for South Korea, as Keun-Ho Lee replaces Kook-Young Han. Jeong-Ho Hong goes down and requires some treatment after overstretching for a clearance, though it appears that the defender will be fine to continue.
We're back underway in the second half, with both South Korea and the crowd in Sao Paulo wanting to see some goals. As aforementioned, only a win will do for Hong's men, with Defour's dismissal perhaps being the breakthrough.
Mertens has gone close on a couple of occasions, while Ki forced Courtois into a brilliant save midway through the half. This contest is fairly even, as Belgium continue to labour though the group stage. Be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes for all of the remaining action, as South Korea bid to try and squeeze through into the knockout stages.
HALF TIME! The two sides go in goalless at the break, with Belgium now down to ten men after the dismissal of Defour. South Korea need a few goals and victory to stand a chance of qualification, with the extra man possibly vital in their second half plans.
45' + 2'
Mertens whips in a free-kick delivery, but Van Buyten can only divert the ball high into the air. Kim claims, the South Korea goalkeeper has commanded his box fairly well.
45' + 1'
There are two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half, with South Korea now having their tails up given the numerical advantage.
RED CARD FOR DEFOUR! The midfielder goes over the top of the ball and rakes his raised studs down the leg of Shin-Wook Kim. The referee reaches straight for his pocket and Belgium now have to battle on with ten men for the remainder of the contest.
Red Card Steven Defour
Belgium are happy to take their time on the ball, as South Korea sit back in their shape and invite the opposition on. Vanden Borre is played in behind thanks to a good ball from Januzaj, but the right-back can only poke a meek cross into the penalty area.
Belgium aren't looking particularly convincing once again, as Wilmots' changed side isn't quite clicking. Januzaj is found in a central pocket of space, before trying to play Mertens in behind Yong Lee, but gets his pass all wrong. Moments later, the Napoli winger tries his luck from range, but Kim is easily able to get down to his right to make the save.
Five minutes until the break and South Korea desperately need a goal as soon as possible. A win is the only result which could help Hong's men this evening, with a sizeable change in goal difference required too. Belgium, on the other hand, need merely a point to go through as group winners.
Mertens tees up Vertonghen for another long-range free-kick drive, but Yong Lee races forward to make a block - though it seemed the right-back was encroaching. The Belgian left-back complains, but the referee is happy with what he saw.
Kim takes no chances, palming a floated free-kick effort over the crossbar, as Mirallas lurked in front of the South Korea goalkeeper to pick up any spillages. Mertens delivers the resulting corner, but Ki heads clear at the near post.
Yellow Card Jeong-Ho Hong
Mertens is in full flight once again, before Kim puts a foot out to deny the pacey winger. Defour picks up the pieces, before feeding the same Belgian forward into the penalty area, but the former PSV man curls an effort high and wide of the top right hand corner.
Kim is quick off his line to punch away yet another early cross into the back post, conceding a throw-in. Vertonghen tries to launch the ball into the box to find Fellaini once again, but South Korea clear and hoof long to Shin-Wook - who holds possession up well and earns a free-kick.
GOOD SAVE FROM COURTOIS! Ki lets fly from range, forcing the young goalkeeper to dive full stretch to get an important fingertip on the ball! Belgium concede a corner, which South Korea nearly force over the line, but a combination of Defour and the goalkeeper keep Hong's men out!
Pressure is building slightly for South Korea, who are throwing a few dangerous balls into the penalty area. The physical Shin-Wook is a real target to aim for, which they aren't afraid to do with regularity.
South Korea are continuing to keep Belgium at bay, but there seems to be a sense of inevitability about the fact that Wilmots' side will find the back of the net tonight. Vanden Borre and Vertonghen are being troubled out wide slightly, but the more dangerous pressure is coming from the Red Devils.
WHAT A MISS FROM MERTENS! The Napoli winger is presented with a golden opportunity, but turns a loose ball over the crossbar from eight yards out! Fellaini wins a flick-on, before Mirallas squares a pass into his teammate, who balloons his first-time effort embarrassingly into the crowd!
Good work from Mirallas! The lone striker wriggles free of two challenges and sees a shot blocked, before picking up the rebound and scampering back away from goal and towards the byeline. He delivers a cross into the back post, but nobody is there to turn it home.
A few misplaced passes in the opening stages from South Korea have outlined some real defensive frailties, as Belgium have been able to break with ease. Hong won't be disappointed with his side's start to the game, but Courtois still hasn't had to make a save.
Belgium continue to look the most likely to score, as South Korea are lacking the penetration to find their key men. Mirallas is set on his way in behind the opposition defence by Fellaini, but the linesman raises his flag to signal offside.
Vertonghen tries his luck with a left-footed long-range free-kick effort, but gets his angles all wrong. The ball arrows high and wide of the target from 30 yards, as the left-back continues to not have the most memorable of World Cup campaigns.
The opening 20 minutes has passed without too many questions being asked of either goalkeeper, with Kim merely required to command his area from a couple of corners. Belgium are looking dangerous on the break, but the likes of Mirallas and Januzaj have been a little bit quiet.
Belgium want a penalty, but the referee isn't interested! Januzaj and Vanden Borre combine well down the right flank, before the right-back looks to break beyond Young-Gwon Kim. The central defender uses his strength to shield the ball out of play, but the South Korea man could have been deemed to be unfairly obstructing his opponent.
Son breaks beyond Vanden Borre and into the penalty area, before cutting inside and switching the play. Yong Lee arrives late on the far side, delivering a powerful cross into the box, but Fellaini is on hand to head clear.
Plenty of intensity and work rate from South Korea in the early stages, but Belgium have been mostly able to deal with what the opposition have to throw at them. If Hong's side are to enjoy success today, play will have to pass through Son, but the Leverkusen man hasn't seen much possession.
Vanden Borre covers across his back four well, as South Korea look to be direct and try to break with pace. In the other game in Group H, Russia have taken the lead against Algeria, courtesy of an Alexander Kokorin header.
Mertens has the chance to whip in a free-kick from deep on the right hand side, with Belgium loading the box. Mirallas is picked out, but the lone forward isn't able to turn. Mertens picks up the pieces and delivers once again, but Kim is quick off his line to punch the cross away.
Two penalty claims within a minute for South Korea, with Koo going down under a physical challenge from Dembele. The midfielder threw himself to the ground a little too easily, but the Belgian midfielder will have to watch himself - he can be a bit clumsy in the tackle.
Defour invites Mertens down the left hand side, with the Napoli winger racing to the byeline and delivering a cross that proved to be far too close to Kim.
Shin-Wook is involved a lot from the very start, as South Korea know that they need to win by a couple of goals if they are to have any real chance of progressing beyond the group stage. They showed versus Algeria that they will be direct if needs be, with the physical striker definitely being their plan B.
Wook and Dembele clash heads while challenging for an aerial ball, with the Belgian midfielder coming off the worse of the two and requiring some treatment. Axel Witsel is sent out to warm up as a precaution, but the Spurs man should be fine to continue.
Januzaj tries a cheeky backheel, as the 19-year-old continues to show that the big occasions don't bother him, despite his age. During Belgium's pre-tournament friendlies the Manchester United forward looked bright, we shall see if Januzaj is capable of having an impact this evening too.
Mirallas looks to be leading the line for Belgium, with Fellaini playing a more reserved role in midfield. He's involved from the start, as the Everton forward twists and turns in the penalty area before cutting back an intelligent pass to nobody. It was into a good area, but given the lone striker was distributing the ball, there was nobody present to attack it.
We are underway in the first half! Belgium are in their changed black strip, while South Korea are in a starkly contrasting white. All eyes will be on the respective back fours this evening, as it is indisputable that both nations have a host of convincing and interesting offensive options.
The teams have made their way out onto the field in Sao Paulo, with South Korea having no option but to win this evening against one of the tournament's dark horses. Belgium haven't managed to get into full flow yet, but still boast plenty of individual talent. After the respective national anthems, we'll be able to get down to business!
Around 15 minutes remains until kick-off, so be sure to stick around for all of the action, as South Korea look to cause an upset and battle through into the knockout round. Belgium, meanwhile, will be hoping to keep their 100% record alive, while individuals have the opportunity to prove to Marc Wilmots that they have the ability to contribute in the later stages of the World Cup.
Belgium substitutes: Alderweireld, Witsel, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Hazard, Mignolet, Bossut, Origi, Chadli, Ciman.
Belgium starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Vanden Borre, Van Buyten, Lombaerts, Vertonghen; Defour, Dembele; Januzaj, Fellaini, Mertens; Mirallas.
South Korea substitutes: Chang-Soo Kim, Tae-Hwi Kwak, Seok-Ho Hwang, Bo-Kyung Kim, Dae-Sung Ha, Chu-Young Park, Jong-Woo Park, Dong-Won Ji, Seung-Gyu Kim, Joo-Ho Park, Beom-Young Lee, Keun-Ho Lee.
South Korea starting line-up (4-4-2): Seung-Gyu Kim; Suk-Young Yoon, Jeong-Ho Hong, Young-Gwon Kim, Yong Lee; Ja-Cheol Koo, Sung-Yong Ki, Kook-Young Han, Chung-Yong Lee; Shin-Wook Kim, Heung-Min Son.
TEAM NEWS: Thibaut Courtois and Daniel Van Buyten retain their places in the Belgian defence, but Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen miss out through injury. Anthony Vanden Borre slots in at right-back, while Jan Vertonghen receives a second chance on the opposite flank. Adnan Januzaj gets a start despite being a tender 19 years of age, with Dries Mertens and Kevin Mirallas presumably playing off the imposing figure of Marouane Fellaini.
TEAM NEWS: The back four remains unchanged, despite a couple of glaring errors last time out, but physically imposing striker Shin-Wook Kim leads the line in place of Chu-Young Park. The Ulsan target man is the only change in the South Korea eleven, with all of his 196 centimetres helping to possibly cause some confusion within Belgium's back line. Against Algeria, the 26-year-old had plenty of joy.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action from Sao Paulo, as South Korea look to keep their World Cup dream alive and continue to fly the flag for Asia. In light of their improved second half performance in the defeat against Algeria, Hong has opted to draft in an interesting alternative striker to test a much-changed Belgian back four.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of South Korea versus Belgium, with the latter able to make plenty of changes for tonight's game in light of their earlier qualification from Group H. Hong's side are still able to make it into the knockout stages if they win this evening, but will rely on goal difference regardless of the parallel game's outcome - as long as Algeria don't pick up maximum points.
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