The sign was rather clear. Hwang Hee-chan comprehended the message well. At halftime of South Korea’s World Cup match against Portugal on Friday, a teenage supporter held up a placard that said, “One More Goal.” At that point, the score was 1-1, but the South Koreans needed a goal to advance to the round of 16.

South Korea won 2-1 and advanced to the World Cup’s knockout round for the third time thanks to a thrilling goal in stoppage time from Hwang.

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After scoring, Hwang took off his jersey and did the traditional muscle-man pose as tens of thousands of South Korean supporters erupted in a roaring and cheering frenzy at the north end of Education City Stadium.

It is South Korea’s third World Cup appearance past the group stage. In 2002, when they served as co-hosts, they advanced to the semifinals. In 2010, they advanced to the round of 16.

Hwang appeared as a substitute against Portugal in the second half after missing the first two group games in Qatar due to a hamstring injury.

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Who is Hwang Hee-chan?

Hwang Hee-chan, a South Korean professional footballer who was born on January 26, 1996, plays forward for Wolverhampton Wanderers of the Premier League and the South Korean national team.

In South Korea, Hwang is known as the “Bull” (Hwangso) because of his ferocious playing style and last name.

Although Hwang Hee-chan was born in Chuncheon, his family soon relocated to Bucheon. Until he was eleven years old, they resided there. 

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At Uijeongbu’s Singok Elementary School, Hwang began playing football. He led all scorers in the 2008 Hwarangdaegi Tournament and Dongwon Youth Cup, South Korea’s national youth tournaments. His impressive success carried across to the South Korean under-12 national team.

Hwang set a new Kanga Cup record with 22 goals, breaking the previous mark of 20. He won the top prize of the Cha Bum-kun Football Award, presented to South Korea’s top young players, for his great exploits in various competitions.

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Following his graduation from Singok Elementary School, he enrolled at Pohang Jecheol Middle School and began participating in the school’s under-15 football squad, the Pohang Steelers. Hwang earned the competition’s MVP honours in 2011 as his team won the middle school division of the Korean National School League, which the Korea Football Association hosted.

He then joined the Pohang Steelers under-18 team and Pohang Jecheol High School. He scored 12 goals in 12 games for his side in the 2013 K League Junior, a competition between youth teams of K League clubs, helping his high school win the league. Later, he helped Pohang win the championship in the high school category of the National School League while also winning MVP honours for his performance.

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South Korea was ousted from the 2012 AFC U-16 Championship in the quarterfinals, although Hwang ended up being the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, including a hat-trick against North Korea.

During the 2016 Summer Olympics, Hwang scored a goal against Germany in a group match that resulted in a 3-3 tie.

Hwang assisted on South Korea’s second goal in a 3-2 loss to Poland in a friendly on March 28, 2018.

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Hwang represented South Korea in all three of its group-stage matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In the first two games, both losses, he was part of the starting lineup. Hwang took part in the most recent match against Germany as a substitute but was removed after 20 minutes for failing to carry out the team’s strategy. In the end, South Korea prevailed, and manager Shin Tae-yong expressed remorse for benching Hwang.

Hwang’s injury-time goal against Portugal gave South Korea a 2-1 victory and a spot in the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.