December 6: Any dreams of South Korea replicating their historic World Cup run from 20 years ago came crashing down with a last 16 humiliation at the hands of five-times champions Brazil, Reuters reported, adding that the Asian side's luck finally ran out in Qatar.
According to the news agency, Korea had qualified for the knockout stages by the skin of their teeth after beating Portugal at the death, watching the end of the other group game on mobile phones with frayed nerves as they waited for Ghana to deny Uruguay a decisive goal.
“Much to their relief, Uruguay were denied second place in the group as Ghana held on. The Koreans cried tears of joy when qualification was sealed, but three days later their fans would weep in despair.”
Korea's reward for reaching the last 16 for the first time since 2010 was a showdown with pre-tournament favourites Brazil, who not so much waltzed into the quarter-finals but oozed class as they literally danced the samba in a 4-1 win at Stadium 974, added Reuters.