Despite going down a man late in the first half, Belgium were able to hold off South Korea and earn a 1-0 victory that earned them the top spot in Group H. For South Korea, their World Cup comes to an end as they had to win the match to have any hope of advancing.
With the victory, Belgium sets up a Round of 16 match against the United States on July 1 in Salvador.
Dries Mertens got the game's first great chance in the 25th minute on a broken play inside the box. A blocked Kevin Mirallas shot rebounded down between defenders and right to Mertens with nothing but the keeper between him and the goal. Instead of challenging Kim Seung-gyu, Mertens skied his shot well over the crossbar.
South Korea's first good chance arrived in the 30th minute when Ki Sung-Yueng fired a low show through traffic from roughly 25 yards out. Thibaut Courtois was able to see the shot though, getting down quickly and blocking it away for a corner. Courtois and Steven Defour combined to push a header on the ensuing corner off the line to keep the match scoreless.
In the 45th minute, Belgium's Steven Defour went in late on Kim Shin-wook with a studs up, two footed tackle. The referee never hesitated showing Defour a straight red, leaving Belgium with 10-men for the rest of the match.
South Korea put Blegium under pressure in the second half with the man advantage, but the Red Devils were able to deal with it well. The Taegeuk Warriors were able to look dangerous, but they weren't really able to generate the great chance on goal they needed to try and take a lead.
Then in the 77th minute, Belgium took advantage a massive rebound left by Kim Seung-gyu to give Belgium a 1-0 lead. The entire sequence started after a giveaway on a clearance attempt by South Korea as Divock Origi intercepted the ball and fired a shot 20 yards out on Kim Seung-gyu. The goalkeeper blocked the shot, but left a sizable rebound that Jan Vertonghen was happy to jump on and fire into the back of the net.
Belgium: Courtois, Vertonghen, Lombaerts, Van Buyten, Vanden Borre, Defour, Dembélé, Januzaj (Chadli 60'), Fellaini, Mertens (Origi 60'), Mirallas (Hazard 88')
Goals: Vertonghen (77')
South Korea: Kim Seung-gyu; Yun Suk-Young, Kim Young-Gwon, Hong Jeong-Cho, Lee Yong; Han Kook-Young (Lee Keun-Ho 46'), Ki Sung-Yueng; Son Heung-Min (Ji Dong-won 73'), Koo Ja-Cheol, Lee Chung-Yong; Kim Shin-wook (Kim Bo-Kyung 66')