Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot put in a mixed audition for a starting berth in Portugal’s round of 16 match today as he was given 90 minutes to impress in their last group H tie against South Korea.
It took Dalot just five minutes to make his mark, brilliantly collecting the ball on the right flank before setting up Ricardo Horta for a simple finish.
Dalot made some excellent forward runs but blotted his copybook with two very poor passes, one in the first half that went unpunished and the other in the 65th minute when he gifted it to Korea in a dangerous zone.
Goalkeeper Diogo Costa spared the United man’s blushes by pulling out a good save from Hwang’s shot.
In the 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Koreans, Dalot won 4/6 ground duels, 2/3 aerial duels and made two key passes.
He had 78% pass accuracy.
However, he also lost possession 18 times and only completed 2/4 crosses and 5/10 long balls.
To be fair to the United man, it was a lacklustre performance all round from a widely rotated Portugal side, especially after news came through that Uruguay were 2-0 up against Ghana – the only team that would have been capable of pipping the Europeans for top spot in the group.
Former United man Cristiano Ronaldo was woeful in front of goal for the Portuguese, wasting a number of golden opportunities and finding himself offside on a number of occasions.
Costa, a reported United target also impressed again for Portugal and made two or three good saves. There was little he could have done to prevent either South Korea goal.
Portugal will now play the runners up in group G, to be decided this evening, in the round of 16. With Brazil all but certain to win the group, that is likely to be Switzerland or Serbia, unless Cameroon pull out a shock against the South Americans.