Portugal play South Korea in the World Cup Group H decider at Education City Stadium.
Son Heung-min and his teammates must win here to stand a chance of making the last 16, while Cristiano Ronaldo and the Selecao need a point to guarantee top spot.
The winner of the group faces the runner up from Group G (Brazil, Switzerland, Cameroon, Serbia), while the runner-up will play the winner, likely to be the South Americans, with the five-time winners the current favourites.
The pressure is on the Taegeuk Warriors after defeat to the Black Stars, while Portugal had too much for Uruguay last time out.
Follow the action with our live blog below, including Ghana vs Uruguay updates:
South Korea play Portugal in the World Cup Group H decider, needing a win to stand a chance of making last 16
South Korea team news: Hwang Hee-chan misses out again through injury
Portugal team news: Cristiano Ronaldo starts but Bruno Fernandes benched in six Portugal changes
14:26 , Michael Jones
The fans seem up for this one. South Korea’s travelling contingent in particular are flocking to the Education City stadium to see if their team get sneak into the knockout stages.
14:23 , Michael Jones
Portugal’s only defeat in five previous meetings with Asian sides at the World Cup came against South Korea in 2002 with the Portuguese having won three and drawn one of their other four matches versus Asian opponents.
14:20 , Michael Jones
The only previous meeting between South Korea and Portugal was at the 2002 World Cup.
The co-hosts won 1-0 through a goal by Park Ji-sung after a Portugal team including South Korea head coach Paulo Bento had Joao Pinto and Beto sent off.
14:17 , Michael Jones
Portugal have already qualified for the knockout rounds at the 2022 World having already beaten Ghana and Uruguay. They are lookgin to win all three group stage matches for just the third time having done so in 1966 and 2006.
14:13 , Michael Jones
Luis Suarez has been known to lose his temper but he sat there calmly and listened as he was told people in Ghana consider him the devil. Lest there was any scope for misunderstanding, it was translated into his native tongue: El Diablo.
A dozen years on, El Diablo remained unapologetic for one of his more notorious deeds. It is Uruguay against Ghana, the rematch, on Friday and if the stakes are high now, with the loser certain to go out of the World Cup, they were bigger still in 2010. It was the 120th minute of the quarter-final when the forward who is now Uruguay’s record goalscorer turned goalkeeper, handling to prevent Dominic Adiyah’s header from making Ghana Africa’s first World Cup semi-finalist. Exit Suarez, sent off, only for him to celebrate enthusiastically when Asamoah Gyan ballooned the resulting spot kick over the bar.
Suarez’s stance has remained consistent. “I don’t apologise about that,” he said. “I take the handball but the Ghana player misses a penalty, not me. Maybe I can say apologise if I take a tackle and injure a player and take a red card but in this situation, I take a red card and the referee says penalty. It is not my fault because I don’t miss the penalty. It is not my responsibility to shoot the penalty.”
‘The devil himself’: Ghana target World Cup revenge against Luis Suarez and Uruguay
14:07 , Michael Jones
Paulo Bento makes three changes to the South Korean side that lost to Ghana last time out. Kwon Kyung-won, Lee Kang-in and Lee Jae-Sung all come into the starting XI.
Fernando Santos meanwhile changes six of the Portugal team that secured qualification to the last-16. Diogo Dalot and Antonio Silva start in defence with Matheus Nunes and Vitinha brought into the midfield.
Joao Mario and Ricardo Horta start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo up top.
14:00 , Michael Jones
Son Heung-min is wearing a mask at the Qatar World Cup as South Korea look to progress from Group H.
The Tottenham striker won a fitness battle to feature at the tournament despite suffering a fracture around his left eye during a Champions League match against Marseille.
The 30-year-old was forced off injured in the first-half of the 2-1 win over OM on 1 November and subsequently required surgery.
Why is Son Heung-min wearing a mask for South Korea at World Cup?
13:55 , Michael Jones
South Korea XI: Kim Seung-gyu, Kim, Kwon, Kim Young-Gwon, Kim, Jungo Woo-Young, Hwang, Lee, Lee Jae-Sung, Son, Cho
Portugal XI: Costa, Dalot, Pepe, Silva, Cancelo, Neves, Nunes, Vitinha, Mario, Ronaldo, Horta
𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘 𝗧𝗢 𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗬 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗚𝗔𝗠𝗘 ⚡ ✊ Este é o nosso 11 Inicial para hoje! 👥🇵🇹 #VesteABandeira
This is our Starting 11 for today! 👥 #WearTheFlag pic.twitter.com/uFLTIV0sg6
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) December 2, 2022
13:53 , Michael Jones
A few minutes had passed since the kind of scenario that, until a few years ago, no one under the age of 80 had witnessed, and Thomas Muller was waving. Germany had gone out of the World Cup at the first hurdle, just as they did in 2018, and Muller seemed to be waving goodbye to their supporters. It was a chastening end for a genuine Germany great.
It will not be remembered as the night he drew level with his former teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger on 121 caps. Not when Germany were eliminated and Muller described his fourth and final World Cup as “an absolute catastrophe”.
Like Manuel Neuer, Muller has straddled eras. He was a star of the glorious past, a struggler in the sorry present. He was always an enormously symbolic figure; the big-game player with the sharp footballing brain, he was parachuted into the 2010 team at 20 and scored five goals.
He got five more as they won the 2014 World Cup. But he has failed to score in group-stage exits in 2018 and 2022. Far from breaking his former sidekick Miroslav Klose’s record of 16 World Cup goals, he remains the second-highest scoring Muller, after his namesake Gerd. He seemed destined to cruise past Jurgen Klinsmann’s total of 11. Now he never will.
‘An absolute catastrophe’: Germany plunged into identity crisis after World Cup exit
13:49 , Michael Jones
Bruno Fernandes says it does not matter who scored Portugal’s opener in a 2-0 victory over Uruguay that secured their place in the World Cup knockout phase.
It initially looked as though Cristiano Ronaldo had drawn level with Portugal’s record World Cup goalscorer Eusebio when he rose to try and head in Fernandes’ 54th-minute cross.
But replays showed that the Portugal captain, who has scored eight World Cup goals, did not get a touch on it and the goal was given to Fernandes as his team claimed a second successive Group H win.
Bruno Fernandes responds after Cristiano Ronaldo claims his World Cup goal
13:45 , Michael Jones
Portugal coach Fernando Santos has admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo’s availability was still in question for today’s final group game versus South Korea.
Ronaldo missed Wednesday’s practice and with his team already through to the knockout stages, the 37-year-old could be rested against South Korea, even if fit.
“I think it is 50-50 if he plays or not, we’ll see,” Santos told a news conference on Thursday. “It will depend on if and how he practices today, if we see he is in good condition... there is a plan for if he is not available.”
13:40 , Michael Jones
Bruno Fernandes entered Euro 2020 after the season of his life and exited it with no goals and no assists. He had a solitary shot on target, created far fewer chances than usual and only started two games. It came after a season when he had delivered 28 goals and 17 assists for Manchester United.
There were, it seemed, two Fernandeses, the United talisman, the Portugal bit-part man. His club played with a No 10 and built their side around him. His country deemed the position redundant and selected a team around Cristiano Ronaldo.
Some 18 months on, Fernandes is wearily familiar with the narrative that he delivers less when he is teamed with Ronaldo. Belatedly, in the week after his compatriot’s explosive departure from Old Trafford, is rebuffing it. Two games into the World Cup and Fernandes ranks joint top for assists and behind only Enner Valencia and Kylian Mbappe for goals. He has been directly involved in four of Portugal’s goals, Ronaldo the other one.
Bruno Fernandes’ role reverses as he starts World Cup as star turn
13:35 , Michael Jones
Out of the many facts and figures circulated about Qatar’s problems, there is one realisation that should stand above everything. It is a disgrace that, in 2022, a country can host a World Cup where it has lured millions of people from the poorest countries on earth - often under false pretences - and then forced them into what many call “modern slavery”.
And yet this has just been accepted. The World Cup carries on, an end product of a structure that is at once Orwellian and Kafkaesque. A huge underclass of people work in an autocratic surveillance state, amid an interconnected network of issues that make it almost impossible to escape. “It’s all so embedded,” says Michael Page of Human Rights Watch.
Many will point to similar problems in the west but this isn’t the failure of a system. It is the system, global inequality taken to an extreme. “The bottom line is that these human rights abuses are not normal for a World Cup host,” says Minky Worden, also of Human Rights Watch.
Everything wrong with the Qatar World Cup
13:30 , Michael Jones
Portugal seem to be gradually hitting their stride, and they should have too much momentum for a valiant but vulnerable South Korea.
South Korea 1-2 Portugal.
13:25 , Michael Jones
South Korea vs Portugal is scheduled to kick off at 3pm GMT on Friday 2 December. The match is set to take place at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan.
In the UK, the game will air live on BBC One, and it will also stream live on the BBC iPlayer website and app.
13:20 , Michael Jones
Hwang Hee-chan is expected to remain absent for South Korea due to a hamstring injury, while Portugal’s Nuno Mendes is set to miss out after sustaining an injury last time out.
Danilo also remains unavailable for Portugal, as does Otavio.
South Korea XI: Seung-gyu; Moon-hwan, Min-jae, Young-gwon, Jin-su; Woo-young, In-beom; Chang-hoon, Woo-yeong, Heung-min; Gue-sung
Portugal XI: Costa; Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Bernardo, Neves, Carvalho; Fernandes; Ronaldo, Felix
13:11 , Michael Jones
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the final round of group stage fixtures as the last four places in the round of 16 get filled.
Groups G and H conclude this afternoon with Portugal and Brazil already sure of a spot in the next though both sides will be fighting it out to top their respective groups.
Portugal and Group H are up in the 3pm kick offs with Cristiano Ronaldo’s men taking on South Korea and Luis Suarez’s Uruguay facing Ghana.
Uruguay, Ghana and South Korea can all reach the last-16 but to do so they would need to defeat their opponents. Ghana have a slight advantage as a draw with Uruguay would send them through providing Portgual also defeat South Korea.
Stick around and follow all the action from Qatar this afternoon.