Paulo Bento, coach of the Korean national soccer team, became the only "foreign coach" to reach the round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Korea, led by Bento, defeated Portugal 2-1 in the final 3rd match of Group H held at the Education City Stadium in Arrayyan, Qatar on the 3rd (Korean time).
Korea recorded 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss side by side with Uruguay, but had a ticket to advance to the round of 16 by finishing second in the group ahead of many points.
It was the first World Cup round of 16 in 12 years since the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
Among the 32 countries participating in this tournament, 9 countries, including Korea, were led by foreign commanders, and all 8 countries except for Korea were eliminated in the group stage.
Qatar, directed by Felix Sanchez (Spain); Ecuador, directed by Gustavo Alfaro (Argentina); Mexico, directed by Gerardo Martino (Argentina); Canada, directed by John Hudman (England); Belgium, directed by Roberto Martinez (Spain); France) coach Saudi Arabia, Carlos Queiroz (Portugal) coach Carlos Queiroz (Portugal) coach Luis Fernando Sanchez (Colombia) coach Costa Rica all failed to make it to the round of 16.
In fact, coach Bento also had only 1 draw and 1 loss before the Portuguese match that day, so the possibility of the round of 16 was not high.
It seemed that all nine foreign coaches would not be able to make it to the round of 16, but Bento was the only one who survived thanks to Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton)'s dramatic come-from-behind goal in extra time in the second half.
Coach Bento also left a record of winning against his country in the World Cup finals.
Coach Bento served as the Portuguese national team from 1992 to the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, and is the leader who led the Portuguese national team from 2010 to 2014.
Bento was the Portuguese national team coach right before the current Portuguese coach, Fernando Santos.
(Photo = Yonhap News)