Ghana Beats South Korea Despite Late World Cup Scare
In a thrilling World Cup match on Monday, Ghana defeated South Korea 3-2 to keep their World Cup chances alive and send Paulo Bento’s team home early. Mohammed Kudus scored twice in the victory.
Ajax midfielder Kudus extended the Black Stars’ lead after Mohammed Salisu scored against the flow of play midway through the first half at Education City Stadium.
A quick-fire double from striker Cho Gue-sung either side of the hour mark helped the Asian team, which had appeared toothless in the first half, pull level.
Korea’s fans cheered furiously as Ghana appeared shell-shocked, but they regained the lead in the 68th minute when Kudus calmly converted at the back post after Inaki Williams missed a left-wing cross.
As a result, Ghana now has three points and is in second place in Group H.
Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, will have six points and will advance to the round of 16 if they defeat Uruguay in the later Qatari kickoff.
Despite their best efforts, South Korea appears certain to exit the World Cup at the group stage for the third time in a row.
The Asian team, led by Son Heung-min, was quicker to settle and forced a number of corners while controlling possession, but they were unable to create a shooting on goal for the duration of the first half.
Son, who just underwent surgery for a facial injury sustained while playing for the Spurs, appeared uneasy in the black face mask he was donning and kept adjusting it.
Ghana failed to get a foothold in the game after losing their opening match 3-2 to Portugal.
But in the 24th minute, Ghana’s excellent Jordan Ayew, who was playing down the left, swung in a cross after taking a free kick, completely transformed the course of the game.
Salisu, a Southampton center defender, scored with his left foot after South Korea failed to clear, setting up raucous celebrations among the Ghana fans wearing red, white, and green.
The goal gave the African nation, who had previously advanced to the quarterfinals in 2010, new life as South Korea struggled to handle their physicality and straightforward demeanor.
Ghana began to play more creatively and confidently, and in the 34th minute, Kudus headed home a precise Jordan Ayew cross from the left to increase their advantage.
Before the players left for the halftime break, captain Andre Ayew, Jordan’s brother, brought his squad to a team huddle on the field and doused them with water from the sprinklers.
In the 53rd minute, goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi deflected a header from Cho, the Koreans’ final shot on goal.
However, the Korean scored quickly, heading in a cross from Lee Kang-in, a substitute who had just been introduced by Bento.
Three minutes later, Cho headed in Kim Jin-left-wing su’s cross to tie the score, sending the Korean supporters into fits of hysteria.
Now Ghana was in trouble, but Kudus helped them regain the advantage midway through the second half.
South Korea returned once more. Salisu cleared off the line as Zigi had to make a last-ditch effort to save a free-kick.
A board was raised by the fourth official for an additional 10 minutes. Despite their relentless forward momentum, South Korea was unable to score, and several of their players fell to the ground as the game came to a close.
Bento was dismissed for disrupting the game’s conclusion.